Potential Population-Level Nutritional Impact of Replacing Whole and Reduced-Fat Milk With Low-Fat and Skim Milk Among US Children Aged 2‑19 Years
This study aimed to evaluate the population-level impact of substituting low-fat and skim milk for whole, reduced-fat, and flavored milk (milk eligible for replacement [MER]) on energy, macronutrient and nutrient intakes, and diet cost. Analyses were based on data from 8,112 children and adolescents (ages 2-19) who completed a 24-hour dietary recall through the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Researchers created a series of substitution models to estimate energy, nutrient intake, and diet cost after complete replacement of MER with either skim or low-fat milk. The results indicate that substitution of MER could reduce calorie and saturated fat intake with no impact on diet costs or intake of calcium and potassium. Replacement with skim milk resulted in a 64-kilocalorie decrease for all children and a 113-kilocalorie decrease among children consuming whole or reduced-fat milk. Replacement with low-fat milk resulted in decreases of 44 kilocalories and 77 kilocalories among all children and consumers of MER, respectively. Percent energy from saturated fat was significantly reduced among children consuming MER by 2.5 percent for the skim model and 1.4 percent for the low-fat model.
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