The Case Against Low-fat Milk...

By: McKenzie McPherson

Article Summary

Author: Alice Park

Source: Time Magazine

Publication: April, 4 2016

Americans are recommended to follow the latest dietary guidelines when planning their diet but recently studies have been conducted that contradict a portion of these dietary guidelines. In the most recent dietary guidelines for Americans, we are discouraged from including full-fat dairy in our diet and encouraged to only include low-fat dairy products but according to a recent study performed by Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian and his colleagues, this may not be the best option.


Experts have thought that by eliminating full-fat dairy products from the American diet will reduce the risk of individuals becoming overweight, obese, and from developing diabetes. The experts reasoning behind this theory is that by reducing or eliminating full-fat dairy in the American diet, it will lower the amount of calories we intake because full-fat diary persists of more calories than low-fat dairy products, resulting in a lower risk of developing diabetes in many Americans. Dietary guidelines are centered around limiting the amount of fat Americans intake so in turn it would help lower cholesterol and unhealthy fats in the body but the issue is that experts didn’t account for the missing fat that our bodies would compensate for by loading up on carbohydrates which in turn would get converted to sugars and on to body fat.


Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian and his colleagues conducted a study to determine if including only low-fat dairy in the diet is linked to lower risk of diabetes and weight gain. Dr. Mozaffarian looked at the blood of about 3,000 adults that took part in a study over the course of about 15 years. The results concluded that of the individuals that participated in the study, the individuals who had at least three different products of full-fat dairy in their diet had about a 46% lower chance of developing diabetes which contradicts the dietary guidelines recommending Americans only include low-fat dairy products in their diet. A separate study showed similar results as Dr. Mozaffarian study where as including more whole-fat dairy in the diet can reduce the risk of becoming overweight or obese and developing diabetes. The second study focused on a large group of women and those who had a larger amount of high-fat dairy products in their diet decreased their risk of developing diabetes by 8%. There are many ways that whole-fat can help to lower diabetes but it is not completely understood. The simplest reason is that individuals eating more whole-fat dairy products will have sufficient calories so they will have decreased hunger and won’t need to consume sugary foods to get extra calories. Currently, there is no evidence to completely support the claim that individuals who consume only low-fat dairy products are better off than others who intake only whole-fat dairy but up to this point the results of the studies encourage people to consider options other than only low-fat dairy. All in all, people should be recommended to intake a variety of different levels of fat in dairy instead of being told to only consume one type of fat.

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Article Critique

Alice Park is the author of The Case Against Low-fat Milk Is Stronger Than Ever, and she appears to be a reliable author. Alice is a staff writer at TIME Magazine and she focuses on science related topics. Up to this point Alice has done specialized reports on mental health, the genetic revolution, innovative drug design and preventive medicine. Alice Park has been awarded 2 media fellowships, the first took place at Harvard Medical School where she focused on AIDS and the second was at UCLA’s medical school where she studied genomic research. Park has also published a book The Stem Cell Hope: How Stem Cell Medicine Can Change Our Lives.


Alice is a writer at TIME Magazine which is a credible source for different reasons, one being that TIME Magazine cites all of their sources in their articles so if something seems to be unreliable, it is readily available for the reader to check the credibility of the sources they used and the information in those sources. TIME Magazine is widely known and is credible, the website is updated consistently and regularly for the public. This article along with every one of TIME Magazine’s articles are easily accessible for the public and there are no fees or costs to access their articles so it would be easy for the public to get the information and articles.


Alice Park used information in her article from experts, researchers, and doctors and also included two specific studies that were done to support the topic of her article. The credibility of the researchers and doctors such as Dr. Mozaffarian are not directly known but the journals and other sources in which their studies were published are easily accessible by a link within the article. The studies that were used as a reference in this article are published in the journal Circulation and the American Journal of Nutrition. Because the reader can find where the studies were published, they are able to find the credibility of those sources and furthermore determine if those studies appear to be credible. This article overall has many factors that make it more credible and reliable to get information and determine why intaking only low-fat dairy products may not be the best option. The article looks at the American diet as a whole versus only looking at certain options such as decreasing fat intake.


The conclusion of the article is very clear which is that there is currently not enough information to make a set decision on whether individuals should only intake low-fat dairy products such as skim milk or if they should consume whole-fat dairy products. The article doesn’t resort to a simple solution, it recognizes the complexity of the subject and that decreasing the risk of diabetes isn’t simply related to only limiting fat intake. All these factors seem to add to the credibility of the article and make it seem like a reliable source to get information on why only consuming low-fat dairy may not be the best choice for the American diet.

References

Park, A. (2016). The Case Against Low-Fat Milk Is Stronger Than Ever. TIME.com. Retrieved 8 April 2016, from http://time.com/4279538/the-case-against-low-fat-milk-is-stronger-than-ever/


TIME Media Kit » Alice Park. (2016). Timemediakit.com. Retrieved 8 April 2016, from http://www.timemediakit.com/bios/park/