European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 1591–1603 | Cite as

Yogurt consumption, body composition, and metabolic health in the Québec Family Study

  • Shirin Panahi
  • Caroline Y. Doyon
  • Jean-Pierre Després
  • Louis Pérusse
  • Marie-Claude Vohl
  • Vicky Drapeau
  • Angelo TremblayEmail author
Original Contribution



The aim was to compare the anthropometric and metabolic profiles and lifestyle behaviours of yogurt consumers and non-consumers and to determine if the observed differences persisted after adjustment for diet quality and related variables.


Using cross-sectional and follow-up data from the Québec Family Study, men and women were classified into yogurt consumers (n = 269; 96 men and 173 women) and non-consumers (n = 570; 279 men and 291 women), and their anthropometric measurements, metabolic profiles, and lifestyle factors were compared.


Men yogurt consumers had a lower body weight, BMI, % body fat, waist circumference and lower plasma insulin, and C-peptide concentrations in response to oral glucose, while women yogurt consumers had lower waist circumference, BMI, % body fat, plasma glucose, insulin, and C-peptide compared with non-consumers (P < 0.05). After adjustment for the Nutrient-Rich Foods (NRF) index, a marker of diet quality, these differences persisted in men and only for glycemic variables in women. Additional adjustment for physical activity participation and % body fat did not abolish the significant differences observed between yogurt consumers and non-consumers for plasma glucose, insulin, and C-peptide responses to oral glucose in women only (P < 0.05). Analyses of data after a 6-year follow-up reinforced these observations, since both men and women yogurt consumers maintained a better metabolic profile compared with non-consumers after adjustments for age and NRF (P < 0.05). In addition, an interaction between group and time for % body fat in men suggests a benefit of yogurt consumption over time on body composition.


Yogurt consumption is associated with body composition and metabolic health benefits that are not entirely explained by a global effect of diet quality.


Yogurt Metabolic health Consumers and non-consumers Eating behaviours Lifestyle factors Body composition 



We express our gratitude to the participants in the Québec Family Study and the staff of the Physical Activity Sciences Laboratory at Université Laval for their contribution to this study. Sources of financial support include the Medical Research Council of Canada (presently Canadian Institutes of Health Research) for the Québec Family Study as well as other agencies from the governments of Québec and Canada. Shirin Panahi is the recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship from the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Angelo Tremblay is the holder of the Canada Research Chair in Environment and Energy Balance which is sponsored by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Angelo Tremblay serves on the Yogurt in Nutrition for Health Advisory Board for the Danone Institute International and is a member of the board of Danone Institute of Canada. His research has been funded in part by the Dairy Farmers of Canada and Dairy Research Institute of the United States. Vicky Drapeau is the recipient of the 2015 Yogurt in Nutrition Initiative grant. All other authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shirin Panahi
    • 1
  • Caroline Y. Doyon
    • 1
  • Jean-Pierre Després
    • 1
    • 2
  • Louis Pérusse
    • 1
    • 3
  • Marie-Claude Vohl
    • 3
  • Vicky Drapeau
    • 3
    • 4
  • Angelo Tremblay
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of KinesiologyUniversité Laval, PEPSQuebec CityCanada
  2. 2.Centre de Recherche de l`Institut de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie de QuébecQuebec CityCanada
  3. 3.Institute of Nutrition and Functional FoodsUniversité LavalQuebec CityCanada
  4. 4.Department of Physical EducationUniversité LavalQuebec CityCanada

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