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ARS Home » Plains Area » Grand Forks, North Dakota » Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center » Healthy Body Weight Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #399120

Research Project: Dietary and Physical Activity Guidance for Weight Loss and Maintenance

Location: Healthy Body Weight Research

Title: Disparity in dairy servings intake by ethnicity and age in NHANES 2015-2018

item CIFELLI, CHRISTOPHER - National Dairy Council
item FULGONI, KRISTIN - Nutrition Impact, Llc
item FULGONI, VICTOR - Nutrition Impact, Llc
item Hess, Julie

Submitted to: Current Developments in Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/9/2022
Publication Date: 12/22/2022
Citation: Cifelli, C.J., Fulgoni, K., Fulgoni, V.L., Hess, J.M. 2022. Disparity in dairy servings intake by ethnicity and age in NHANES 2015-2018. Current Developments in Nutrition. 7(2). Article 100010.

Interpretive Summary: Americans do not consume the amount of dairy foods recommended for daily intake by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This study provides updated information on the gap between recommendations and intake across the American population from ages 2 to 71+ years. It also addresses the contributions of "mixed dishes" to dairy intake. Mixed dishes includes those foods that contain dairy foods but are not primarily dairy foods (such as cheese on a pasta dish). Finally, this study addresses differences in dairy intake across different ethnic groups in the U.S., including Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black, non-Hispanic Asian, and non-Hispanic white Americans. Mixed dishes made a significant contribution to the overall dairy intake of Americans, and there were some differences in dairy intake among ethnic groups. The non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic Asian populations had the lowest dairy intakes, indicating a need for more directed and relevant educational approaches to ensure all Americans meet their nutrient needs.

Technical Abstract: Dairy products, especially milk, provide vital nutrients including several under-consumed nutrients and nutrients of public health concern, to the American diet. However, milk and dairy intake has been decreasing in recent years. The goal of this study was to provide an update of current milk and dairy intakes, to investigate dairy intake across the lifespan, and to stratify these data by race/ethnicity. NHANES cycles 2015-2016 and 2017-2018 were used to determine dairy intake from foods included in USDA-defined dairy food groups as well as from “other foods” such as mixed dishes (e.g., pizza) and non-milk and dairy foods containing dairy e.g., desserts). Total dairy intake (cup eq/d) decreased across the lifespan (2-8 y: 1.93; 14-18 y: 1.74; 19-50 y: 1.55; and 71+ y: 1.35). Milk intake also decreased across the lifespan from 2 y until 51-70 and 71+ years of age, where milk intakes increased slightly as compared to those 19-50 y (0.61, 0.75, and 0.58 cup eq/d, respectively). Non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic Asian children and adults consumed the least dairy servings compared to other race/ethnic groups. “Other foods” contributed large percentages of dairy intake and accounted for more in adults (47.6%) compared to young children (25.9%) and adolescents (41.5%). This study showed total dairy intake decreased across the lifespan, but “other foods” make a significant contribution to dairy intake indicating their importance to helping Americans meet DGA recommendations and nutrient needs. Finding ways to maintain dairy intake as children grow and developing targeted educational materials that are more culturally sensitive may help alleviate dairy intake disparities between ethnicity groups.