Dairy products and other calcium-containing foods and supplements don't prevent weight gain, according to a 12-year study of thousands of middle-aged men. But some scientists maintain that the finding has no bearing on the dairy industry's claim that dairy consumption promotes weight loss in people who cut back on calories.
Controversy about calcium's role in weight management has grown since a study in 2000 suggested that it facilitates weight loss (SN: 4/29/00, p. 277: Calcium may become a dieter's best friend). Obesity researcher Michael B. Zemel of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, who led that dairy-industry–funded study, has since reported that other constituents of dairy products augment calcium's fat-shedding effect.
Last year, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit group in Washington, D.C., sued several food companies and dairy-industry groups over advertisements claiming that dairy products aid we