Philadelphia – Fluid milk consumption among children is vital, as adequate consumption of dairy products, especially during childhood, has beneficial health outcomes later in life. These benefits include reduced risk of osteoporosis, hypertension, obesity, and cancer in adulthood. Milk consumption among children has been declining for decades, so understanding and fulfilling the needs of children is crucial to reverse the decline. In an article appearing in the Journal of Dairy Science, scientists from North Carolina State University and Cornell University studied key contributors to increasing milk consumption among children.
Factors evaluated in the study included food trends, nutritional and school meal program requirements, children’s perceptions and preferences, and environmental influences. Among these influences, flavor and habit were the primary drivers for long-term milk consumption. Intrinsic factors ranged in influence over milk preference in the examination, showing that flavoring, heat treatment, and sweeteners positively correlated with higher milk consumption. Extrinsic factors, such as social influence (i.e., peers, parents or caregivers, and school staff), packaging, and health benefits, all affected children’s attitudes toward milk as well.
To read the rest of the story, please go to: Journal of Dairy Science