Calcium intake and body weight

K. M. Davies, R. P. Heaney, R. R. Recker, J. M. Lappe, M. J. Barger-Lux, K. Rafferty, S. Hinders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

373 Scopus citations


Five clinical studies of calcium intake, designed with a primary skeletal end point, were reevaluated to explore associations between calcium intake and body weight. All subjects were women, clustered in three main age groups: 3rd, 5th, and 8th decades. Total sample size was 780. Four of the studies were observational; two were cross-sectional, in which body mass index was regressed against entry level calcium intake; and two were longitudinal, in which change in weight over time was regressed against calcium intake. One study was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of calcium supplementation, in which change in weight during the course of study was evaluated as a function of treatment status. Significant negative associations between calcium intake and weight were found for all three age groups, and the odds ratio for being overweight (body mass index, >26) was 2.25 for young women in the lower half of the calcium intakes of their respective study groups (P <0.02). Relative to placebo, the calcium-treated subjects in the controlled trial exhibited a significant weight loss across nearly 4 yr of observation. Estimates of the relationship indicate that a 1000-mg calcium intake difference is associated with an 8-kg difference in mean body weight and that calcium intake explains ∼3% of the variance in body weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4635-4638
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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