Purpose: Milk products (fluid milk, cheese, yogurt) typically provide a rich source of calcium and other nutrients, yet consumption is declining in Canada. This study examined milk product health beliefs among young adults and the association between these beliefs and dietary calcium intake.
Methods: Seventy-nine participants (25 ± 4 y; 40 males) completed a milk product health belief questionnaire to determine a milk product health belief score (MPHBS) and a 3-day food record to assess dietary intake.
Results: Despite generally positive views, young adults were uncertain about milk products in relation to health, weight management, and ethical concerns. Females would be more likely than males to increase milk product intake if they were confident that milk products are ethically produced. There was no significant association between MPHBS and dietary calcium intake. Energy-adjusted dietary calcium intake was positively associated with intakes of vitamin A (r = 0.3, P < 0.05), riboflavin (r = 0.5, P < 0.01), vitamin B12 (r = 0.5, P = < 0.01), vitamin D (r = 0.4, P < 0.01), phosphorus (r = 0.4, P < 0.01), zinc (r = 0.3, P < 0.01), and with milk and alternatives servings (r = 0.8, P < 0.01).
Conclusion: Nutrition education efforts focused on increasing calcium-rich food consumption will help consumers to be better informed when making dietary choices.