Young boy holding up a glass of milk like making a toast.
Young boy holding up a glass of milk like making a toast.

A new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights the fact that U.S. children do not consume enough low-fat milk.

The research, published in the CDC report "Low-fat Milk Consumption Among Children and Adolescents in the United States, 2007-2008," shows that about 73 percent of children and teens drink milk, but only about 20 percent of them say they usually drink low-fat milk (skim or 1 percent).

In addition, according to the report, 2 percent milk was reported as the type of milk usually consumed by 45.4 percent of children and adolescents. And adolescents aged 12 – 19 years reported low-fat milk as their usual milk type more often than younger children aged 2 – 5 years.

As noted by USA Today, the research brief notes that drinking milk is important for children's bone health, but CDC experts advise that while young people need the calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients found in milk, children aged 2 and older should consume low-fat milk and milk products to avoid unnecessary fat and calories.

In summary, the authors say that “The overall low consumption of low-fat milk suggests the majority of children and adolescents do not adhere to recommendations by Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 and the American Academy of Pediatrics for all children aged 2 years and over to drink low-fat milk.”

The report is published in a September National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief.