Australian children and adolescents who were drinkers of plain and flavored milk had the highest intakes of milk, total dairy, and calcium.Nutr Res. 2019 06; 66:68-81.NR
Dairy is important for children and adolescents' bone development and nutritional needs, and it is not known how the type of milk consumed relates to overall dietary intakes. This study assessed the hypothesis that Australian children and adolescents who drink milk have greater milk, dairy, and micronutrient intakes compared to those who consume milk in other ways or avoid milk. A secondary analysis using day 1 data from the 2011-2012 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey was performed (n = 2812, 2-18 years). Children were classified as plain or flavored milk drinkers, other milk drinkers (eg, smoothies, milkshakes), nondrinkers of milk (eg. on cereal), or milk avoiders. Intakes of total dairy, milk, calcium, free sugars, and sugar-sweetened beverages were determined and adjusted for confounders. Milk consumption was popular (81%), and the majority (63%) of milk consumers were drinkers, and of those, 46% were plain, 32% were flavored, and 21% were other milk drinkers. Flavored and plain milk drinkers had higher total daily milk (480, 95% confidence interval [CI] 459-501 and 445, 95% CI 427-462 g, respectively), dairy (2.8, 95% CI 2.7-2.9 and 2.6, 95% CI 2.5-2.7 servings, respectively), and calcium (1049 ± 18 and 980 ± 15 mg, respectively) intakes than all other groups. Plain milk drinkers (10.7%, SD 6.2%) had a lower proportion of daily energy from free sugars than all other groups, but there was no difference in free sugars intake between plain and flavored milk drinkers, and there were no differences in anthropometric measures across groups. Plain and flavored milk drinkers and nondrinkers of milk had the lowest prevalence of sugar-sweetened beverages intake (P < .001). Plain milk drinkers followed by flavored milk drinkers had the most favorable milk, dairy, and nutrient intakes.