A review of existing research into the impact of dairy consumption on weight failed to find evidence that a high intake of dairy or calcium promotes weight loss.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina looked at the findings of 49 clinical trials and found that 41 of them showed no effect.
Two of the studies actually demonstrated an overall weight gain, while only five concluded that dairy promotes weight loss.
Publishing their findings in the journal Nutrition Reviews, the researchers concluded: "Our findings demonstrate that increasing dairy product intake does not consistently result in weight or fat loss and may actually have the opposite effect."
However, dairy products are beneficial for health in other ways, as they are a rich source of protein, vitamins A and B12, and calcium.
Health experts recommend that children between the ages of one and three should consume around 350mg of calcium (for example 300ml of full-fat milk) a day.