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Ann Hum Biol. 2009 Mar-Apr;36(2):125-38. doi: 10.1080/03014460802680466.

Consumption of milk, but not other dairy products, is associated with height among US preschool children in NHANES 1999-2002.

Author information

1
Department of Anthropology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA. wileya@indiana.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Little is known about how cow's milk consumption affects growth of young children.

AIM:

The present study evaluated associations between milk consumption and height among preschool-age children in three ethnic groups in the USA.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

A sample of 1002 children aged 24-59 months from NHANES 1999-2002 was used. Multivariate regression tested for associations between milk consumption (milk kJ/total kJ from 24 h recall, daily vs less frequent intake over 30 days) and height, controlling for age, sex, ethnicity, birth weight, and energy intake.

RESULTS:

Children in the highest quartile of milk intake (QIV) were taller (1.1-1.2 cm; p<0.01) than those in QII and QIII but not QI. Total calcium had a positive effect on height (p<0.01), but did not change the height differences among percentiles. Total protein was not associated with height and QIV children were taller (0.9-1.2 cm) than those in all other quartiles. Children who drank milk daily were taller (1.0 cm; p<0.02) than those with less frequent intake. Consumption of other dairy products (other dairy kJ/total kJ) had no association with height. Blacks were taller than Whites and Mexican-Americans; controlling for milk intake did not alter this pattern.

CONCLUSION:

Milk contributes positively to height among preschool children; this association was not found for non-milk dairy products.

PMID:
19241191
DOI:
10.1080/03014460802680466
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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