The objective of this study was to identify the sociodemographic, personal, psychosocial, and behavioral correlates of low consumption of dairy products among adolescents. A comprehensive, school-based health behavior survey was administered to 36,284 public school students in grades 7 through 12 in Minnesota. Students self-reported consumption of dairy products and items addressing various dimensions of health. The risk factors for low consumption of dairy foods included being female, nonwhite, and of low socioeconomic status. The psychosocial factors associated with low intake included low weight satisfaction, school grades less than or equal to C, and low family connectedness. Dieting was strongly associated with low consumption of dairy foods, and modest consistent associations were also found with other health-compromising behaviors such as binge eating and substance abuse. Interventions aimed at increased consumption of calcium-rich foods among youth need to address high-risk groups and should include both education and environmental components as part of a comprehensive school-based program. Future research should examine differences in intake patterns of calcium-rich foods and health implications of lower intakes among different ethnic groups.
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