Height in children is a good indication of the general level of nutrition, isn’t it?

Children brought up on almond and soya milk are shorter than youngsters who drink just cow’s milk, a new study has found.

The plant-based products have become increasingly fashionable, with many extolling the health benefits of them, and others turning to them because of an intolerance or dislike of plain milk.

But the new study found that children who drink non-cow’s milk – including plant-based milk drinks and milk from other animals, are growing up shorter than those given traditional fare.

The research also suggests that children who drank a combination of cow’s milk and non-cow’s milk daily were shorter than average.

Hmm.

26 comments on “Height in children is a good indication of the general level of nutrition, isn’t it?

  1. If they are born to parents who force this sort of stuff down them, they aren’t exactly starting with a full deck of genetic cards anyway, are they?

  2. Decreased height probably correlates better with veganism: poor little things have been protein deprived by parents. Drinking almond milk is just a symptom.

  3. Imposing a vegan diet on growing children is tantamount to child abuse. Even adult vegans need vitamin supplements (or to seek out fairly obscure ingredients).

  4. i’m surprised at the article’s implication that cow’s milk is better for a child than other animal milks such as goat’s milk.

    is goat’s milk really ounce for ounce less Benificial than cow’s milk?

    Or is there, perhaps some confounding effects not teased out of the data? (such as the possibility that countries where goat’s milk is the staple tend to be poorer than cow’s mmilk countries; and that children’s diets in such countries tend to be deficient in a whole host of non milk nutrients?)

  5. How long have we been evolving with cows and hence cows’ milk? It seems to be an Indo-European thing.

    Anyone who has met any vegetarians know that they are half starved. Raising a child on such a diet is, as Chris Miller said, child abuse. Luckily there won’t be many of them as recent studies have shown vegetarian men have low sperm counts.

    Yet again the only robust finding in social science is that pretty much every stereotype you can think of is true.

  6. Whatever the lose in height, they more than make up in their parents’ smugness. So on balance good.

  7. Luckily there won’t be many of them as recent studies have shown vegetarian men have low sperm counts.

    The socks and sandals combo doesn’t help in that regard, either.

  8. “Anyone who has met any vegetarians know that they are half starved.”
    i knew a raw fruitarian. God he was a bag of bones. Was a teacher too. I think of him teaching kids and i shudder.

  9. Interesting.

    Like Tim Newman, I’m lofty- 6’7″. My wife is six foot, or as near as makes no odds.

    My two kids, (aged 6 and 4) are literally head and shoulders above their peers- oldest is in clothes for age 10, and the younger in 6-7 age.

    What proportion of that difference is genetics and what nutrition? Am I feeding them too much?

  10. You need to correct for the fact that well-made, intelligent, sensible chaps and chapesses feed the nippers plenty of milk, whereas feeble wisps of parents feed them leaves, beech mast, and acorns.

  11. I find it hard to believe that swapping one item in a diet can have much effect. it’s hardly an evolutionary requirement to drink cow’s milk anyway. Homo sapiens appeared around 200,000 years ago and the cow was domesticated only around 10,000 years ago.

    Maybe the sort of people who turn to soya milk are the sort of people who suffer from ill health in the first place? I don’t know. I don’t care.

    Whole religions get by being vegetarian which also suggests it ain’t that bad. Knowing one skinny vegetarian tells us as much as knowing one fat-arsed omnivore.

    While I’m no longer a vegetarian, I was for around 20 years during which time I was a 13 1/2 stone front row rugby player at minor county level.

    The only time being a vegetarian was wearisome was when non-vegetarians droned on and on about “how unhealthy it was and what did I eat and they didn’t each much meat these days anyway and did I eat fish and what about vitamin B and what about leather and fish filings they used in beer production and the lack of protein and if you ever eat meat again I hear it kills you and we’re supposed to eat meat because of our canine teeth and and and…..” and just fuck off will you I’m eating my egg & chips.

  12. In our case, needs must. We have a child who is contact allergic to more or else all things milky, whether goat, cow, sheep, camel, donkey or whatever. As in skin comes up in a red hive if you put a drop of milk on his arm.

    But yes, you have been damn sure to feed them steak regularly if they’re not getting dairy protein.

  13. I have a friend who gave up being vegan/veggie while pregnant and nursing as – as pointed out – it would be an unasked-for imposition on the children at a time when they couldn’t make a decision for themselves.

  14. If you live in a country that has a plentiful supply of cows milk then that country also has a plentiful supply of beef as cows only produce milk after giving birth and half of the offspring will be male and fit only for eating.

    Donkey milk is apparently very close to human milk and as above if there is plenty of donkey milk available there is also plenty of donkey meat.

    dearieme,

    I eat loads of leaves, beech mast, and acorns but I get wild boar to chew and digest them for me first (hmm bacony goodness, all of a sudden I’m hungry, bacon butties it is 🙂

  15. I remember reading that during WW1, Officers were, on average, 6″ taller than conscripted OR’s. All down to diet.

  16. “Officers were, on average, 6″ taller than conscripted OR’s. All down to diet.” How do you know? Maybe the better made men volunteered before conscription started.

  17. “it’s hardly an evolutionary requirement to drink cow’s milk anyway.”
    But it is an evolutionary adaptation, to be able to drink cows milk. Or any milk. Normally in mammals, the production of the enzymes necessary to process milk ceases after weaning. That humans (but not all) retain the neotenous trait into adulthood is an evolutionary response to diet.

  18. Diet is all important for reaching your genetic potential height. Lots of very short Bangladeshi girls in Tower Hamlets but the boys are not so short. Hmmm. And by very short I mean up to my shoulder and I am a foot shorter than John Square UT.

    My eldest is topping out four inches taller than me. Good diet unlike mine when I was growing up.

    Craciun for growing bones is all important during the spurts in the teens. So to speak.

  19. “I remember reading that during WW1, Officers were, on average, 6″ taller than conscripted OR’s. All down to diet.”

    Not just that but the general health of the men wasn’t deemed good enough to serve in the Army in many cases and a great deal of effort went in to improving their health before they joined up and afterwards.

    Discussed at length in Blood, Sweat and Poppycock.

    There was also concern about working class health in the late 19th/early 20th century because it was felt that the working class weren’t healthy enough to serve the Empire.

    Discussed at length in The Rise and Fall of the British Empire.

    (Both books highly recommended by Tim, which is why I read them)

  20. “So it’ll be you voting Lib Dem today then” Ooh no. Illiberal on the sodomites, undemocratic on the referendum.

  21. I was reading yesterday that the business of the health of the workers during WWI is routinely misunderstood. Most of those rejected for service on grounds of health were being rejected for having lousy teeth, unfit for eating hard tack.

    Does anyone know whether there is any truth in this yarn?

  22. “How do you know? Maybe the better made men volunteered before conscription started.”

    Because that’s the explanation it gave in the book. I’m fairly sure it was ‘Death’s Men’ by Denis Winter.

  23. Proof that God hates stinking, commie bastards, hardly surprising as she is an Englishman.

  24. Since non-dairy milks have calcium added to them, the calcium intake dairy v non-dairy milk is unlikely to account for the difference.

    However it may be the non-dairy milk drinkers also avoid other calcium rich dairy foods such as cheese, butter, yogurt therefore their total dietary intake of calcium may be lower.

    They may also be fussy eaters and have an overall poor diet.

    This is the problem with epidemiological studies they do not, arguably cannot, include multiple variables.

    This is why the results of the ‘new research’ have such short shelf-lives soon overturned by new ‘new research’ which doesn’t last long either.

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