Yogurt consumers, compared to non- or small- consumption, have higher intakes of key nutrients and a better compliance with dietary recommendations.
According to several recent studies, yogurt consumers tend to have a healthier eating pattern, compared to non-consumers: Firstly, NHANES (1) and Framingham data (2) (USA) show that frequent yogurt consumption is associated with higher intakes of key nutrients, like proteins, vitamins B2 and B12, calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc, which is not the case for low or non-consumption. In the opposite, yogurt consumers have a lower intake of total and saturated fat, compared to non-consumers. The contribution of yogurt to the diet is confirmed by a French modeling study: daily yogurt intake will help consumers to reach nutritional adequacy. (3) Among children, frequent yogurt consumers have significantly better diet quality than infrequent consumers: they consume more fruit, whole grains, and milk, indicating a better compliance to the dietary guidelines. (2-4)
Female yogurt consumers report better macronutrient diet composition, more physical activity and feeding behaviors, compatible with body weight stability, than non-consumers.
But the benefits of regular yogurt consumption could have a wider influence on global healthy behaviours. Dr. Tremblay relied on the results of his team’s research with the Quebec Family Study, which reveals that yogurt consumption might be the «signature of a healthy diet & lifestyle». His findings complement other research data: not only female yogurt consumers report a better macronutrient composition of the diet than non-consumers, but they are also more physically active (≥ 2h/week) and are 30% less likely to smoke than non-yogurt consumers. Yogurt consumers (≥ 4 times/week) have a better knowledge of the relationship between food and health and display feeding behaviors, which are more compatible with body weight stability over time than those who do not eat yogurt. (6-8)
These findings are conform with the results of another study from Quebec, the Infogene Study (5), demonstrating that yogurt consumers are more prone to adhere to a Prudent dietary pattern, whereas non-consumers tend to exhibit a Western pattern. Yogurt consumers tend to eat less fast food, French fries and fried foods, processed and red meats, pizza, snacks, regular soft drinks or alcohol and prefer fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy products, fish, and lean cuts of meat.
These results suggest that yogurt consumption is associated with an improved diet quality and a healthier lifestyle.