Credit: Muffet

We've got all sorts of things for weight loss: pills, diet books, surgery, and even vibrating machines you strap around your belly. But, who would have thought the answer would be as simple as drinking milk.

A new study claims consuming milk and calcium helped people lose more weight, regardless of diet.

But, before you go out and buy your own personal dairy cow, take a look at who sponsored the study.

Writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, experts found study participants (300 overweight men and women, ages 40 to 65, on either a low-fat, Mediterranean, or low-carb diet) with the highest dairy calcium intake, 12 ounces of milk - equal to 580 milligrams of dairy calcium - lost 12 pounds at the end of two years, regardless of the diet style.

On the flipside, people with the lowest dairy calcium intake, 150 milligrams of dairy calcium, about half a glass of milk, only lost seven pounds.

The magic might not just be in the milk or the calcium. The researchers say vitamin D levels were higher in the people who lost the most weight. Vitamin D is a nutrient that acts like a hormone, and helps facilitate calcium absorption. Other sources of vitamin D include fatty fish like salmon and algae supplements.

But, the research has a fatal, and sadly all too common flaw, it was supported by the Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Research Foundation, i.e. a fad diet company. Atkins advocates a high-fat diet for weight-loss, eating foods like bacon, steak, eggs, and of course milk, so you've got to raise an eyebrow. It's the same as a cigarette maker backing research that claims inhaling tobacco smoke actually improves lung health. Fail.

When a fad diet, activist group, or pharmaceutical company sponsors a study the findings can't be trusted. It's like a mafia don buying a judge.