Public Health Nutrition

Research Article

Food consumption and nutrient intakes with a special focus on milk product consumption in early pubertal girls in Central Finland

A Lyytikäinena1 c1, C Lamberg-Allardta2, L Kannasa1 and S Chenga1

a1 Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, PO Box 35 (LL), FIN-40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland:

a2 Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology, University of Helsinki, Finland


Objective To evaluate the current status of dietary intakes in early pubertal girls with a special focus on milk products.

Design Cross-sectional data using 3-day food records.

Subjects Eight hundred and sixty girls, aged 10–12 years, at Tanner maturation stage I-III.

Results The mean consumption of milk products (620 g day−1) was similar to that of a Finnish study in the 1980s, while the consumption of non-milk drinks (403 gday−1) had increased. Twelve per cent of the girls had a dairy-restricted diet and consumed significantly less milk products than girls with a non-restricted diet (465 vs. 644 g day−1, P<0.001). Girls with low milk product consumption had the highest non-milk drinks consumption (P<0.001). The mean energy intake was 7.1 MJ day−1. No major changes were found in the sources of nutrients. The shares of energy for nutrients were close to recommendations except for saturated fat (13.9 vs. 10% of energy) and carbohydrates (51.5 vs. 55–60% of energy). The mean calcium intake (1117 mg day−1) was above the recommendation, while the vitamin D intake (3.1 μg day−1) of 88% of the girls was below the recommendation.

Conclusions The diet quality of early pubertal girls is close to the recommendations and has improved with respect to fat compared with the 1980s. Consumption of milk products is high although the consumption of non-milk drinks has increased. We found a subgroup of girls who compensate their low milk product consumption with a higher consumption of non-milk drinks. Following a dairy-restricted diet is the main reason for low consumption of milk products.

(Received July 06 2004)

(Accepted November 17 2004)


c1 *Corresponding author: Email