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Americans are drinking less fluid milk, on average. In this study, ERS researchers find that declining consumption since the 1970s reflects changes in the frequency of fluid milk intake, rather than changes in portions. USDA survey data collected between 1977 and 2008 reveal that Americans are less apt to drink fluid milk with their midday and night- time meals than in earlier years, reducing the total number of consumption occasions per day. Moreover, more recent generations of Americans show greater decreases in consumption frequency, holding constant other factors such as education and race. The majority of Americans born in the 1990s consume fluid milk less often than those born in the 1970s, who, in turn, consume it less often than those born in the 1950s. All other factors constant, as newer generations with reduced demand gradually replace older ones, the population’s average level of consumption of fluid milk may continue to decline.


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