The effect is investigated of availability of free school milk on height gain in one year of six- and seven-year-old primary schoolchildren in England and Scotland, using data collected annually from 1972 to 1976. The height gain of children for whom milk was available for the whole year of observation was compared with that of children who had no milk. Out of 16 sex-country-year-specific analyses for children from manual social classes only, 13 showed no significant evidence of greater height gain in children who had milk. Comparison of children from Social Classes IV and V (semi-skilled and unskilled) showed no greater increase in height for those who had milk, nor was there a difference in height gain between manual social class children according to the number of glasses of milk they drank a day at home or at school. We concluded that, given the standard of living at the time of the survey, the drinking of free school milk did not increase the growth rate of six- and seven-year-old children.
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