2.2.2 Percentage of children aged 4 to 9 years who consume less than the recommended number of servings of milk products (2 servings) by region, Canada excluding the territories, 2004

Atlantic* Quebec Ontario Prairies British Columbia
Less than recommended milk consumption 26 39 39 33 38

*Interpret with caution.
Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating for People Four Years Old and Over recommends: a minimum of five servings of vegetables and fruit; a minimum of two servings of milk a day; a minimum of 5 servings of grains a day.

Source: CICH graphic created using data adapted from Garriguet, D. Overview of Canadians’ Eating Habits. Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division. Nutrition: Findings from the Canadian Community Health Survey. 2004.

There are differences among the regions of Canada with regards to young children, aged 4 to 9 years, meeting the recommended number of servings of milk products (2 servings).

In Québec and Ontario 39% do so, in Atlantic Canada only 26% do so.

Canada’s Food Guide recommends the amount and type of milk and alternatives in order to ensure that children and youth have healthy bones and optimal health. Not drinking/eating sufficient milk and alternatives can be influenced by a number of factors. A family’s ability to purchase sufficient food – food insecurity – will influence whether or not children have access to the foods to keep them healthy.1 Cultural practices may not include milk as a common food – Canada’s Food Guide recommends alternate foods that may be more acceptable. Marketing unhealthy foods and beverages may influence children and youth to choose other beverages.2 Drinking beverages with extra calories but little nutritional value can replace milk or alternates and influence children’s health.

1Pan Canadian Public Health Network. 2017. Towards a Healthier Canada – 2017 Progress Report on Advancing the Federal / Provincial / Territorial Framework on Healthy Weights.
2Sadeghirad B, Duhaney T, Motaghipisheh S, Campbell NCR, Johnston BC. Influence of unhealthy food and beverage marketing on children’s dietary intake and preference: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials. Obesity Reviews 2016;17(10):945–959.

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