Consumers' health perceptions of three types of milk: a survey in Australia

Appetite. 2003 Apr;40(2):93-100. doi: 10.1016/s0195-6663(03)00004-7.


A survey was conducted among 345 randomly selected shoppers in Melbourne, Australia, to identify their perceptions of the healthiness of whole milk, reduced fat milk and soy milk and to investigate demographic influences on health perceptions and types of milk consumption. The survey revealed major differences in shoppers' perceptions of the three types of milk along the themes of bone health, weight control, disease prevention, and, allergy and disease causation. Generally whole milk was perceived more negatively than soy or reduced fat milk. There were few demographic differences in the shoppers' perceptions of the three products. Reported consumption of reduced fat milk was more frequent among women and elderly people, and whole milk consumption was positively related to parenthood. The findings suggest that previous marketing and education campaigns have been effective but the widespread uncertainty and erroneous beliefs about milk products suggest that many consumers have not assimilated new findings about milk products. This represents a challenge for industry and public health practitioners.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Advertising
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Attitude*
  • Australia
  • Cattle
  • Community Participation
  • Data Collection
  • Dietary Fats*
  • Education
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Milk*
  • Nutritive Value


  • Dietary Fats