Washington: Children who regularly drink milk are physically fitter in old age, according to new research.
Researchers from Bristol University found that elderly people who a milk started a milk drinking habit as a child were able to walk faster and were much less likely to suffer problems with balance.
About one glass of milk a day in childhood was linked to a 5 percent faster walking time and 25 percent lesser chance of poor balance in older age, the study found.
The team of British researchers used historical diet records from two large studies to assess the childhood habits of more than 1,500 men ages 62-86.
They measured the impact of diet, specifically milk, protein, calcium and fat intake, on current performance and mobility in follow-up.
Elderly participants were put through a series of activities, including walking, get-up-and-go, and balance tests. Childhood calcium, protein and milk intake were all associated with advantages in mobility later in life.
The researchers also found that childhood milk drinkers were also likely to be adult milk drinkers, emphasizing the benefits of establishing lifelong healthy habits.
Among the many health habits to begin at a young age, experts recognize the importance of beginning the day with breakfast.
The study has been published in published in the journal Age and Aging.