Nutrient contributions of dairy foods in the United States, Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals, 1994-1996, 1998

Linda Gwynne Weinberg, Louise A Berner, John E Groves
Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2004, 104 (6): 895-902

OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to quantify the impact of dairy foods on nutrient intakes in the United States.

SUBJECTS: Data were from 17959 respondents to the 1994-1996, 1998 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII). Statistical analyses Nutrient intakes were quantified by quartile of dairy food intake. Also, dairy intakes were compared in people who met vs did not meet intake recommendations for select nutrients. Finally, the direct contribution of dairy foods/ingredients to calcium and lipid intakes was determined. SAS and SUDAAN software were used. Data were weighted. Energy intake was a covariable in regression models.

RESULTS: Intake of all micronutrients examined, except vitamin C, was higher with increasing quartile of total dairy and milk intake, controlling for energy intake. Calcium was the only micronutrient positively associated with cheese intake. Fat intake either did not differ or was lower among people in quartile 2, 3, or 4 vs quartile 1 of total dairy and milk intake, whereas fat was higher as quartile of cheese intake increased. Dietary cholesterol was lower as intakes of any of the dairy categories increased; the opposite was true for saturated fat. Dairy foods/ingredients directly contributed an average of 51% of dietary calcium, 19% of total fat, 32% of saturated fat, and 22% of cholesterol.

CONCLUSIONS: Total dairy and milk intakes were associated with higher micronutrient intakes without adverse impact on fat or dietary cholesterol. Results reinforce the strong nutritional profile of dairy-rich diets, although results with saturated fat and with cheese suggest that it would be useful to modify product composition and/or eating patterns to optimize nutritional contributions of dairy products.

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