During the study, Australian researchers found that drinking fat free milk in the morning helped increase satiety, or a feeling of fullness, and led to decreased calorie intake at the next meal, as compared with a fruit drink.
The milk drinkers ate about 50 fewer calories (or nearly 9 percent less food) at lunch.
In the study, 34 overweight but otherwise healthy men and women participated in two testing sessions – one in which they were served about 20 ounces of fat free milk, and one in which they were served the same amount of a fruit drink (both beverages contributed about 250 calories to the breakfast meal).
During the four hours between breakfast and lunch, the men and women gauged their feelings of fullness and were allowed to eat until comfortably full at lunch.
The researchers found that the milk-drinking adults reported feeling fuller, more satisfied and therefore ate fewer calories at lunch.
The researchers suspect that milk’s protein content, the lactose or simply the thickness of the beverage may play a role in the satiety benefits.
Choosing foods that can help enhance satiety is an important success factor in any weight management plan, the researchers suggest.
The study has been published in the July issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.