Milk intake constitutes an important source of dietary calcium for young girls but declines throughout childhood. Recent work shows that the intake of soft drinks may contribute to this decline. Influences on the apparent tradeoff between soft drinks and milk in young girls' diets are not well described. The objective of this research was to test a model depicting maternal beverage choices as predictors of their daughters' milk and soft drink intake. A structural equation model describing maternal influences on daughters' milk, soft drink and calcium intakes was tested using data from 180 non-Hispanic, white families with 5-y-old daughters. Mothers' calcium, milk and soft drink intakes were evaluated as predictors of their daughters' intakes. Mothers' and daughters' soft drink intakes were also examined as predictors of their own milk and calcium intakes. The model provided a good fit to the data, revealing mother-daughter similarities in beverage intake. Mothers who drank milk more frequently had daughters who drank milk more frequently and drank fewer soft drinks. For both mothers and daughters, soft drink consumption was negatively related to both milk and calcium intake. This research provides evidence that mothers' beverage choices influence the tradeoff between milk and soft drinks in their daughters' diets. In particular, mothers' milk and soft drink intakes may affect their daughters' calcium adequacy in early childhood by influencing the frequency with which their daughters consume those beverages.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics