Predictive associations between lifestyle behaviours and dairy consumption: The IDEFICS study

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2020 Mar 9;30(3):514-522. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2019.10.006. Epub 2019 Oct 22.


Background and aim: Physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviours (SB) are related to obesity and cardiometabolic risk; however, the literature is controversial regarding the effect of dairy consumption on the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. The aim of this study was to assess longitudinally the relationship between specific lifestyle behaviours (PA and SB) and dairy consumption in a sample of European children and adolescents.

Methods and results: Children from the IDEFICS study were included in the analyses. Two measurements, with 2 years' interval, were conducted. A total of 1688 (50.8% boys) children provided information regarding diet, measured by a 24-h dietary recall, PA measured by accelerometers and parent-reported sedentary screen time (SST) at both time points. Different combinations of these behaviours, at each survey and over time, were derived applying specific recommendations. Multilevel ordinal logistic regression and analysis of covariance were used to assess their association with dairy consumption, adjusted for potential confounders. Differences by gender were found regarding dairy product consumption and also adherence to SB and PA recommendations at T0 and T1. Children meeting both lifestyle recommendations, at the two measurement points, had higher probability to consume more milk and yogurt and less cheese than the rest of combinations.

Conclusions: These results suggest that European children with a healthy lifestyle, especially regarding PA and SB over time, consumed more milk and yogurt. This study suggests that the protective effect of specific dairy products found in literature could be partially due to the association of their consumption with specific healthy lifestyles.

Keywords: Children; Dairy consumption; European; IDEFICS study; Lifestyle behaviours; Physical activity; Sedentary.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child Behavior*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dairy Products*
  • Diet, Healthy*
  • Europe
  • Exercise*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Nutritive Value
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Time Factors