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J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Apr;106(4):534-42.

Dairy and dairy-related nutrient intake during middle childhood.

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  • 1Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, 129 Noll Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802, USA.



To characterize patterns of dairy intake among girls in middle childhood.


Longitudinal data were used to characterize girls' patterns of dairy intake at age 5, 7, 9, and 11 years.


Participants were 151 girls from predominately middle-class and exclusively non-Hispanic white families living in central Pennsylvania.


Intakes of dairy, energy, macronutrients, vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus were assessed using three 24-hour dietary recalls in 151 non-Hispanic white girls at age 5, 7, 9, and 11 years. Analyses of changes over time were conducted using repeated measures analysis of variance. McNemar's chi(2) test was used to analyze change in percentage of dairy consumers over time.


From age 5 to 11 years, girls' total dairy intake remained stable. Total milk consumption declined, due to a decline in intake of milk as a beverage, while intakes of cheese and dairy desserts increased. Much of the decline in milk intake from age 5 to 11 years, especially for milk as a beverage, was due to a reduction in the percentage of girls consuming milk as a beverage, not simply due to a decline in the servings of milk as a beverage consumed by consumers. On average, girls met vitamin D recommendations over time; however, by age 9 and 11 years girls failed to meet calcium and phosphorus recommendations.


Although girls' dairy intake was stable over time, at age 7, 9, and 11 years girls did not meet the recommended three servings per day, leading to suboptimal intakes of calcium and phosphorus at age 9 and 11 years. Increasing milk intake among all children should continue to be a major focus of interventions.

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