There's a yogurt for everybody

Could yogurt help to maintain consumption of dairy products into adolescence?

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Adolescence is a critical period during which lifetime habits are established. This prospective longitudinal study of Australian adolescents showed that from age 12 to 17, there was a significant decrease in the consumption of the dairy food group.

The decline of dairy products consumption in adolescence is mainly driven by a reduction in milk intake and much higher in girls than in boys. Only 8% of 12-year olds and 6% of 17-year olds adhered to the recommended intake of ‚Č•3.5 serves/day of the dairy food group.

In contrast, cheese and yogurt consumption remained low but stable (each accounting for about 25% of intake in terms of serves) between the ages of 12 and 17 in males and females. Frequent flavored-milk consumption (>= 2 serves/week) at baseline was also associated with similar to 5-fold greater likelihood of maintaining intakes of dairy foods above the median during adolescence.

The observed decrease in dietary contribution from this important food is of concern, and could have implications for the future development of non-communicable diseases. Targeted measures should be introduced to address this. In this context, yogurt could potentially play the role of a transition food among adolescents, replacing milk but continuing the sufficient consumption of dairy, which is crucial for growth in particular.

Source: Gopinath, B et al. ASIA PACIFIC JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NUTRITION 2014, 23 (4):612-618; 10.6133/apjcn.2014.23.4.05 2014

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