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Eating yogurt is associated with healthier diet and lifestyle

Eating yogurt is associated with healthier diet and lifestyle - YINI

For the 10th anniversary of YINI, we gathered the recent evidence-based science about yogurt and health effects in a sustainable healthy diet.

Regular yogurt consumers of all ages tend to eat and live healthily. They are less likely to eat unhealthy foods, or smoke or drink alcohol to excess, and are more likely to exercise regularly than people who don’t.

Regular yogurt consumers tend to choose healthy diets

Yogurt consumption is associated with better diet quality, measured using validated indices of healthy eating, among both children and adults in the USA, Canada and Europe.

Regular yogurt consumers are less likely to consume unhealthy food and more likely to stick to dietary guidelines than non-consumers.

In adults:

  • Compared with those who eat little or no yogurt, people who eat yogurt frequently have a better diet quality and tend to follow dietary guidelines more closely.
  • Yogurt consumers score more highly on the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) than non-consumers, which could be partly explained by a significant increase in fruit, grain and dairy consumption.
  • Yogurt consumers are more likely to have a diet with more fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish and seafood, and fewer fast foods such as French fries and fried foods, processed and red meats, pizza, snacks, soft drinks and alcohol.
  • People who frequently consume yogurt have higher nutrient intakes than those who do not often eat yogurt even when yogurt is not a source of these nutrients.  Hence frequent yogurt consumers (at least one serving per day) have been found to have higher intakes of folic acid, copper, manganese and iron.
  • Both in children and in adults (in Spain and the USA), swapping high-calorie, nutrient-poor snacks for full fat yogurt with fruit could help boost key nutrients and improve dietary quality without contributing to dietary excess and obesity.

In children:

  • Young children who regularly consume yogurt have a better diet quality and the overall nutrient content of their diets is higher than those who don’t.
  • The diets of children who eat yogurt regularly are better overall than non-consumers – they consume more fruit, whole grains and total dairy  and fewer fatty foodsDiet quality among children and adults who are yogurt consumers vs non-consumers - YINI

Yogurt consumption is a marker of a healthier lifestyle

Numerous studies suggest yogurt consumption is also a signature of a healthy lifestyle. Compared with people who do not eat yogurt, those who do consume yogurt:

  • are generally healthier and leaner. They also tend to be more highly educated and of higher socioeconomic status.
  • show healthier non-nutritional behaviour: they are less likely to smoke, tend to drink less alcohol and are more likely to be physically active in their leisure time than non-consumers.
  • tend to have a better health-related quality of life and mental health.

Children who regularly consume milk and yogurt are more likely than those who don’t to engage in healthy lifestyle behaviours with more physical activity and less sitting in front of a screen.

“Yogurt consumption is a signature of healthy living. Compared with non-consumers, people who regularly eat yogurt tend to have better diet quality, have a more active lifestyle, drink less alcohol, and are less likely to smoke.” – Professor Angelo Tremblay

Yogurt consumption is linked to a healthier diet and lifestyle


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