Does milk matter: Is children's intake affected by the type or amount of milk served at a meal?

Samantha M.R. Kling, Liane S. Roe, Christine E. Sanchez, Barbara J. Rolls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Increasing the energy density (ED) and portion size of foods promotes additional energy intake, but the effect of similar changes in milk is unknown. Using a crossover design, we tested the effect of varying the ED and portion size of milk served with lunch on preschool children's intake. Lunch was served in childcare classrooms on 4 days to 125 children aged 3–5 y (67 boys; 58 girls). Across the meals, milk was varied in ED (lower-ED [1% fat]; higher-ED [3.25% fat]) and portion size (100% [183 g]; 150% [275 g]). Foods in the meal were not varied; children ate as much of the meal as they wanted. Serving higher-ED milk did not affect milk intake by weight, but increased energy intake from milk by 31 ± 2 kcal compared to serving lower-ED milk (P < 0.0001). Serving the 150% portion of milk increased milk intake by 20 ± 3 kcal compared to serving the 100% portion (P < 0.0001). Increases in both ED and portion size combined to increase milk intake by 49 ± 4 kcal (63%; P < 0.0001). Across all children, food intake decreased when higher-ED rather than lower-ED milk was served, but meal energy intake (food + milk) did not change significantly. This response varied by sex: for boys, serving higher-ED milk decreased food intake by 43 ± 8 kcal (P < 0.0001) but did not affect meal energy intake, while for girls, higher-ED milk did not reduce food intake so that meal energy intake increased by 24 ± 10 kcal (P = 0.03). Thus, boys adjusted food intake in response to changes in ED of milk consumed with lunch, but girls did not. Serving milk in larger portions promotes intake of this nutrient-dense beverage, but the effects of milk ED on meal intake vary between children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-518
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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