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New Study Shows Worrying Milk Consumption Trends

New Study Shows Worrying Trends In Milk Consumption In New Zealand

A new study published this week in the Journal of the New Zealand Dietetic Association1 raises concerns about the decline in milk consumption in New Zealand. This study, based on two random telephone surveys, questioned people about their milk intake and beliefs about milk.

Results showed that:

· At least one in three people consumed less than one glass of milk day.

· Almost one in three people were concerned about the fat content of milk.

· At least one in three people were concerned about allergies to milk.

The facts are:

· Low milk consumption can lead to inadequate intakes of calcium. Milk and milk products are one of the best sources of calcium available in the diet. What's more, the calcium in milk is present in a form that is easily absorbed by the body.

· Milk is not a significant source of fat in the diet, and for those concerned about their fat intake there are reduced and low-fat options available.

· Allergic reactions to milk can occur in young children, but are very uncommon (about 2% incidence) and most children will grow out of the allergy by the age of three years. Unnecessary avoidance of milk in young children can compromise nutritional status and if an allergy is suspected professional medical advice should always be sought.

Carol Wham, lead researcher says; "Young people, especially boys, appear to be more attracted to soft drinks. There is an urgent need to arrest the declining milk consumption in New Zealand, especially amongst our children and teenagers"

Mandy Wynne, Executive Officer for the New Zealand Dietetic Association says; "Overall, about one in five of us are not getting enough calcium and this goes up to one in three among 15-18 year olds. Milk and milk products are one of the best sources of calcium in the diet."

This study highlights the need for public health preventative measures in New Zealand, which should include the promotion of regular weight bearing exercise and the consumption of calcium rich foods such as milk - particularly during childhood when the bones are growing.

ENDS

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