Study Says Children Who Drink Cow's Milk Are Taller Than Almond, Soy Milk Drinking Peers

A new study finds that children who drink cow's milk stand just a bit taller than those who drink alternatives, including soy, almond and rice milk. 

Research published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds the average difference between 3-year-olds who drink cow's milk and those who don't is about 1/2 of an inch. 

Researchers say height is an important indicator of a child's overall health, and cow's milk is a reliable source of dietary protein and fat, essential for proper growth in early childhood. But there's been a notable shift in recent years to milk alternatives, which are often marketed as healthier options. 

For the study, researchers examined the dietary habits of more than 5,000 children ( ages 1-3). Parents were asked how many cups of cow's milk and non-cow's milk their child drank on a typical day.

Ninety-two percent said their child drank cow's milk daily, while 13 percent drank non-cow's milk.

Still, the research is limited in the sense that researchers have not yet been able to determine if the shorter children catch up to their peers in adulthood.

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