Time trends in the consumption of dairy foods in German children and adolescents

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003 Oct;57(10):1331-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601696.


Objective: Examination of time trends in the consumption of dairy food and their impact on fat and calcium intakes in German children and adolescents.

Design: Dietary records from the DONALD Study (DOrtmund Nutritional and Anthropometric Longitudinally Designed Study).

Methods: A total of 5068 3-day weighed dietary records from 914 1 to 13-y-old children and adolescents collected between 1986 and 2001 were analysed using a mixed linear model, in which the means of the data and the covariance structure specific to the DONALD Study were modelled.

Results: During the study period, the consumption of 'milk products' in children and adolescents >/=4 y remained stable, since the reduced consumption of 'fluid milk' (between -2.8 and -7.4 g/day/study year) was compensated for by an increased consumption of 'yoghurt' (between +2.4 and +3.3 g/day/study year). The consumption of 'cheese' increased in subjects >/=4 y (between +0.2 and +0.7 g/day/study year). In 1 to 3-y-old children, the decreased intake of 'fluid milk' (-6.5 g/day/study year) was not compensated for by the increased intake of 'formula' (+3.5 g/day/study year). The percentage of 'low-fat milk products' significantly increased (although not significant in 9-13-y-old boys) to nearly 25% of milk products. The impact of dairy food on fat intake (as percentage of energy intake) remained stable with the exception of a slight reduction in 4-8 y olds, the impact of dairy on calcium (as percentage of US adequate intake) decreased only in 1-3 y olds.

Conclusions: The consumption of dairy food remained widely stable over time in >/=4-y-old children and adolescents, but decreased in 1-3 y olds. A further decline in this age group would be undesirable as is the shift from common milk to formula. The intake of 'low-fat milk products' increased and should be continuously promoted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dairy Products*
  • Diet Records
  • Diet Surveys
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Sex Factors


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Dietary Fats