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Milk is made up of lots of globules of fat suspended in water. They are big enough that over several days they will float up to the top of the milk and seperate from most of the liquid. Homogenisation involves squirting the milk through very small holes, this breaks up the fat globules so small that thermal vibrations and small currents in the milk are large enough to keep the fat mixed into the milk, so it doesn't seperate out.
For a given volume, skimmed milk has fewer calories. For a lot of people that's a health benefit.On the other hand, removing the fat also removes the fat soluble vitamins. These might get added back later (the law in the UK requires that margarine is fortified with vitamins; the same might be true with skimmed mmilk).Personally I don't like the skimmed product; it tastes "watery" (Yes I know that doesn't make sense, but it still tastes watery to me).
For a given volume, skimmed milk has fewer calories.