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Abstract

U.S. per capita fluid milk consumption has decreased since the 1940s. This study uses data collected between 1977 and 2008 from USDA surveys to investigate whether generational change is a contributing factor. More recent generations are found to consume less whole milk and less lower-fat milk, controlling for their age at the time of the survey and other consumption determinants. These findings underscore the importance of checkoff programs, the National School Lunch Program, and other initiatives that encourage children to consume milk. Our methodology may also be adapted to analyze long-run trends in the consumption of other foods.

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