Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Exercise and Health Sciences
Dairy nutrients, such as calcium, are particularly important in adolescence, a critical time for growth and development. There are limited Australian data following individuals through adolescence, evaluating changes in dairy nutrient and dairy product consumption. We used a validated food frequency questionnaire to investigate consumption in adolescents participating in both the 14 and 17 year follow-ups of the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study. Most adolescents did not reach age and gender specific recommended daily intakes for calcium or magnesium at 14 years, and this decreased as they aged to 17 years (from 33.0% to 29.2% meeting for calcium, P < 0.05, and from 33.6% to 20.5% meeting for magnesium, P < 0.01). Mean intakes of calcium, potassium, riboflavin and vitamin A also decreased with age (P < 0.01). Mean dairy intake decreased from 536 ± 343 g/day to 464 ± 339 g/day (P < 0.01), due mostly to a decrease in regular milk, although flavoured milk consumption increased in boys. Cheese and butter were the only products to show a significantly increased consumption over the period. Girls decreased from 2.2 to 1.9 serves/day of dairy, while boys remained relatively steady at 2.9 to 2.8 serves/day. Our findings suggest that dairy product consumption decreases over adolescence. This may have implications for bone mass, development and later health.
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