EFSA: no link between fat-free yogurt and weight loss

9 Jan 2015

Following an application from Spain, EFSA was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to fat-free yogurts and fermented milks complying with the specifications “fat free”, “low in sugars”, “high protein”, “source of calcium” and “source of vitamin D” for nutrition claims and reduction of body and visceral […]

EFSA: no link between fat-free yogurt and weight loss

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-firm-yogurt-closeup-image2514645Following an application from Spain, EFSA was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to fat-free yogurts and fermented milks complying with the specifications “fat free”, “low in sugars”, “high protein”, “source of calcium” and “source of vitamin D” for nutrition claims and reduction of body and visceral fat mass while maintaining lean body mass in the context of an energy-restricted diet.

The scope of the application was proposed to fall under a health claim based on newly developed scientific evidence.

The food that is the subject of the health claim is fat-free yogurts and fermented milks complying with the specifications “fat free”, “low in sugars”, “high protein”, “source of calcium” and “source of vitamin D” for nutrition claims. The Panel considers that fat-free yogurts and fermented milks complying with the specifications “fat free”, “low in sugars”, “high protein”, “source of calcium” and “source of vitamin D” for nutrition claims are sufficiently characterised.

Upon EFSA’s request for clarification, the applicant indicated that the claimed effect refers to the loss of body and visceral fat mass while maintaining lean body mass in the context of an energy-restricted diet. The target population proposed by the applicant is “overweight or obese adults that are following energy-restricted diets”. The Panel considers that reduction of body and visceral fat mass while maintaining lean body mass in the context of an energy-restricted diet is a beneficial physiological effect.

The applicant identified 168 human publications, including 48 intervention studies, 20 observational studies, 12 meta-analyses, 13 reviews, and 75 other studies (bioavailability and mechanistic studies), claimed as pertinent to the claim. Additionally, 23 animal studies and three in vitro studies were submitted. All human intervention studies were performed with foods which did not comply with the specification of the food which is the subject of the claim.

The Panel notes that no human studies from which conclusions could be drawn for the scientific substantiation of the claim were provided by the applicant.

On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of fat-free yogurts and fermented milks complying with the specifications “fat free”, “low in sugars”, “high protein”, “source of calcium” and “source of vitamin D” for nutrition claims and reduction of body and visceral fat while maintaining lean body mass in the context of an energy-restricted diet.

 

 

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