Publication Details

Wham, C. A. & Worsley, A. (2003). New Zealanders' attitudes to milk: implications for public health. Public Health Nutrition, 6 (1), 73-78.


Objective: To identify consumer attitudes and beliefs about (liquid) milk that may be barriers to consumption.

Design: Two random-quota telephone surveys conducted in Auckland one year apart. Respondents were questioned about their usual milk intake and their attitudes to milk. The questionnaire included attitude items that reflected the main themes of consumer interest in milk.

Setting: New Zealand.

Subjects: Seven hundred and thirteen respondents in the baseline survey and a separate sample of 719 respondents in the follow-up survey.

Results: At least one-third of the respondents consumed less than a glass (250ml) of milk a day. Non-consumption was highest in young women (15%). People's concerns about milk related to what was important in their lives; what threatens them physically and emotionally. Women held more positive attitudes but they were concerned about the fat content of milk. Men were less aware of milk's nutritional benefits and as a result were less appreciative of its value.

Conclusions: There is an opportunity to develop public health initiatives to address the barriers to drinking milk. Industry–health alliances may be an effective means to provide positive nutrition messages about milk and to engage the support of health professionals.



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