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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Impact of dairy and sweetened beverage consumption on diet and weight of a multiethnic population of Head Start mothers

item O'neil, Carol
item Nicklas, Theresa
item Liu, Yan
item Franklin, Frank

Submitted to: Journal Of The American Dietetic Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2008
Publication Date: 5/1/2009
Citation: O'Neil, C.E., Nicklas, T.A., Liu, Y., Franklin, F.A. 2009. Impact of dairy and sweetened beverage consumption on diet and weight of a multiethnic population of Head Start mothers. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 109(5):874-882.

Interpretive Summary: In a multi-ethnic, low-income population of women, consumption of high milk/low sweetened beverages was associated with improved nutrient intake and more healthful food choices, including fruit, dark green and deep yellow vegetables, and ready-to-eat ceareals (RTEC). Although nutrient intake and dietary adequacy were improved with increased consumption of milk, overall milk intake and Mean Adequacy Ratio (MAR) were generally low in these women, indicating the need for improved diet in women in all four of the beverage consumption groups. Culturally appropriate nutrition education addressing specific barriers to consuming a healthful diet, including increasing milk consumption and decreasing sweetened beverage consumption, should be designed and consumption of nutrient-dense foods should be encouraged.

Technical Abstract: Mothers with children in Head Start play a critical role in providing healthful diets and modeling good dietary behaviors to their children, but there is little information available on their diet, especially on beverage consumption. The objective of this study was to assess the association of milk and sweetened beverage consumption with nutrient intake, dietary adequacy, and weight of a multi-ethnic population of Head Start mothers. Using a cross sectional, secondary analysis, African-American (43%), Hispanic (33%), and white (24%) women (n = 609) were divided into four beverage consumption groups: high milk/low sweetened beverage, high milk/high sweetened beverage, low milk/low sweetened beverage, and low milk/high sweetened beverage. Nutrient intake was determined by averaging 24-hour dietary recalls from 3 nonconsecutive days. Dietary adequacy was determined with the Mean Adequacy Ratio. Mean body mass index for the four beverage consumption groups was compared; there were no differences among the groups (overall mean + standard error = 30.8 + 0.3). Women in the high milk/low sweetened beverage group had higher mean intakes of vitamins A, D, and B-6; riboflavin; thiamin; folate; phosphorus; calcium; iron; magnesium; and potassium (P < 0.0125 for all) when compared with the other beverage consumption groups. Mean Adequacy Ratio was highest in the high milk/low sweetened beverage (71.8 + 0.8) and lowest in the low milk/high sweetened beverage (58.4 + 0.8) consumption groups (P < 0.0125). Women in the high milk/low sweetened beverage group consumed more nutrient-dense foods. Overall consumption of milk was low. Consumption of high milk/low sweetened beverage was associated with improved nutrient intake, including the shortfall nutrients, i.e., calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin A.

Last Modified: 07/26/2017
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