Calcium and Dairy Intake: Longitudinal Trends during the Transition to Young Adulthood and Correlates of Calcium Intake

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Abstract

Objective: To describe changes in calcium and dairy intake during the transition from middle adolescence to young adulthood and to identify baseline correlates of calcium intake in young adulthood. Design: Population-based, 5-year follow-up study (Project EAT: Eating Among Teens). Setting: Baseline surveys were completed in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN schools and by mail at follow-up. Participants: Males and females (N = 1521) attending high school at baseline (mean age = 15.9 years) and with a mean age of 20.5 years at follow-up. Main Outcome Measures: Calcium intake. Analysis: Mixed and linear regression methods were used to respectively examine trends and correlates of intake. Results: During the transition to young adulthood, mean daily calcium intakes of females and males decreased by an average of 153 mg and 194 mg respectively. Mealtime milk availability, health/nutrition attitudes, taste preference for milk, healthful weight control behaviors, and peer support for healthful eating at baseline were associated with better follow-up calcium intake. Time spent watching television and lactose intolerance were associated with lower intake at follow-up. Conclusions and Implications: Nutrition interventions are needed to counter longitudinal decreases in calcium intake. Interventions targeted to adolescents should address the availability of milk at meals and other identified supports for healthful eating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-260
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data collection was supported by grant number R40 MC 00319 (PI: D. Neumark-Sztainer) from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (Title V, Social Security Act), Health Resources and Service Administration, Department of Health and Human Services. Analyses were supported by the Adolescent Health Protection Program, grant T01-DP000112 (PI: L. Bearinger) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services. The content of the manuscript is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC.

Keywords

  • adolescence
  • calcium intake
  • dairy intake
  • longitudinal study
  • young adulthood

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