Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

0508 PD: 3-A-Day catches on in the Midwest

Ryan Curtis Published on 20 March 2008

According to the Community Nutrition Mapping Project, the USDA found that 19.4 percent of Americans are getting the nation’s recommended three servings of dairy products.

The highest percentage of consumption was found in the Midwest and Mountain West areas. The Southern and Eastern states, as well as the Pacific Coast states, reported less than 25 percent of their populations meeting the suggested dairy servings. Mississippi, Alabama, and Kentucky averaged less than 10 percent on their 3-A-Day consumption.



“I think the greater determination is reflected sometimes in ethnic groups,” said Janet Grubbs, manager of communications and nutrition programs for the Southern United Dairy Industry Association. “In Alabama and Mississippi, you have a high concentration of ethnic groups that are lactose-intolerant or consider themselves lactose-intolerant. So their consumption of dairy is already lower. In Florida, you have a high Hispanic population, and they tend to be very good dairy consumers. In Georgia and Louisiana you have a mix, so my gut reaction is that it is largely dependent on the ethnic population and diversity of the populations across the region. I don’t think it has much to do with price at this point in time.”

Jennifer Wing, manager of communications at Dairy Management Inc., said that when the 3-A-Day campaign started in 2003, the average American consumed 1.6 servings of dairy. Now that number has increased to 1.8.

In another study done by the USDA in 2001, surveys showed that Americans drink an average of 38 percent less milk but ate four times as much cheese as in the 1950s. The USDA attributes this change to the shift in lifestyles, representing the consumption of more convenience foods. More than half of the cheese consumed came from food services. PD

Ryan Curtis
Assistant Editor
Progressive Dairyman