Pregnant women should drink a glass of milk a day if they want to have tall children (or steer clear, if they'd prefer a shorty, we presume!).
Scientists tracked babies born in the late eighties and found their height during adolescence was directly related to how much milk their mothers drank when they were in the womb. Nutrition experts from Iceland, Denmark and the United States wanted to see if the benefits seen in the early stages of life from milk were extended into later years. They tracked babies born to 809 women in Denmark in 1988 and 1989, after monitoring how much milk the women had consumed during the pregnancy.
The babies were measured for weight and birth length and tthen followed up again almost 20 years later.
The results, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, show teenagers of both sexes were generally taller if their mothers had drunk more than 150 millilitres - roughly a quarter of a pint of milk - a day during the pregnancy, compared to children born to women who drank less than that amount.
By their late teens they also had higher levels of insulin in their bloodstream, suggesting they were less at risk of getting type two diabetes.
The researchers said: "Maternal milk consumption may have a growth-promoting effect with respect to weight and length at birth.
"These results also provide some suggestion that this effect may even track into early adult age."
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