Does drinking milk make you gain weight?

The evidence shows that dairy foods, including milk, cheese and yoghurt do not lead to weight gain.

Last updated 27/10/2023

Some people are confused about the effect of milk and other dairy foods on weight. Evidence shows that these foods have a neutral or positive effect on body weight.

For the last few decades fat has been regarded as the biggest offender for growing waistlines and associated diseases and death around the world. We now know that this isn’t the case.

The creation of low fat and no fat dairy products has further added to the belief that dairy foods are fattening.

But research shows that having enough milk, yoghurt and cheese every day, as part of a healthy diet, is not linked to weight gain.

When trying to lose weight through a calorie-controlled diet, studies show including at least three serves of milk, yoghurt or cheese a day can help people lose more weight and more body fat compared to people who ate less dairy foods.

This is due to the package of nutrients in dairy foods and complex nutrient interactions that come with eating whole foods in the context of a balanced diet.

Evidence supports the consumption of both regular and reduced fat dairy foods for good health and regardless of the fat content, both types are not linked to overweight or obesity.

To achieve a healthy weight, the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend people limit junk foods, reduce portion sizes and find ways to be more active in our everyday lives.


The dairy food group is part of a healthy diet that includes a variety of foods.

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