Submitted to: Worldwide Web Site: Food Surveys Research Group
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/20/2010
Publication Date: 11/5/2010
Citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2010. Fluid milk consumption in the United States: What We Eat In America, NHANES 2005-2006. Available: www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=19476.
Interpretive Summary: Milk and milk products are widely recognized as important sources of nutrients typically low in the American diet, including vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Using nationwide dietary intake data (What We Eat In America [WWEIA], NHANES 2005-2006), we examined intakes of fluid milk by the general population and selected sociodemographic groups, intake trends, and contributions of fluid milk to nutrient intakes of individuals 2 years of age and older. Based on this examination, “Fluid Milk Consumption in the United States: What We Eat In America, NHANES 2005-2006,” a Dietary Data Brief available on the Food Surveys Research Group Web site at www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/fsrg, provides a snapshot of milk consumption patterns of the American population. Findings include: The mean intake of milk for individuals aged 2 years and older was slightly more than 3/4 cup, and about half of that was plain milk consumed as a beverage; intakes of milk have decreased significantly for children and youth in the last 30 years; non-Hispanic blacks aged 2-49 years consumed less milk than non-Hispanic whites and Mexican Americans; and milk contributed substantially to total daily intake of several shortfall nutrients, with milk reporters obtaining significantly higher amounts of many of those nutrients than nonreporters. By conveying this information through simple charts and brief text, this Dietary Data Brief widens the pool of users who can benefit from the Food Surveys Research Group’s ongoing work monitoring and assessing food consumption and related behavior of the U.S. population. The information in this Dietary Data Brief will be of benefit to legislators, program planners, media, and consumers who want clear and easily comprehensible information about milk consumption patterns in the United States.
Technical Abstract: The goals of this study were to describe fluid milk consumption patterns of the U.S. population and to determine the impact of fluid milk on daily nutrient intakes. Twenty-four hour dietary recall data from 8,145 children and adults 2 years of age and older participating in What We Eat In America (WWEIA), the dietary intake component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006 (NHANES), were analyzed. For comparison, data from 29,098 participants in the Nationwide Food Consumption Survey 1977-78 were used. T-tests were used to detect differences between survey years, race/ethnic groups, and income groups within age categories. Regression procedures adjusting for confounding variables were conducted to measure mean daily intakes of select nutrients and t-tests were used to identify percent differences in nutrient intake between fluid milk reporters and nonreporters. The mean intake of fluid milk by Americans 2 years of age and older was slightly more than 3/4 cup, and over half that amount was plain milk consumed as a beverage. Since 1977-1978, means intakes of milk have decreased significantly for children and adolescents, but not adults (p<.01). However, the percent reporting milk has declined in all age groups. Milk intake was related to race/ethnicity but not income. Non-Hispanic blacks consumed less milk than non-Hispanic whites and Mexican-Americans. Fluid milk contributed substantially to nutrient intakes, and milk reporters obtained higher amounts of many nutrients typically low in the diets of many Americans. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommend 3 cups of milk (or its equivalent) daily for individuals 9 years of age and older, but intakes by most Americans fall far short of this target. Increasing intakes of fluid milk, particularly in lower fat forms, could greatly improve dietary quality by enhancing intake of several shortfall nutrients.