Dairy getting healthier image?

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Related tags: Nutrition, Milk

A change in attitudes to dairy products is helping to turn around
sales in Australia, according to a survey by the country's dairy
industry association.

It has found that more than a quarter of Australian mothers are recommending their families eat more dairy foods, an increase of 50 per cent over 12 months. And in the same period, the number of mothers who say they restrict consumption of dairy foods has halved to just 16 per cent.

The figures come from Dairy Australia tracking research conducted in Sydney and Melbourne and, according to Richard Lange, group manager of national marketing for Dairy Australia, demonstrate a real trend that milk, cheeses and yoghurts are being embraced by Australian families.

"We know the main reason mothers restrict dairy foods is because of perceived health concerns - there are many myths about dairy foods that have established themselves over the years - so we're pleased to see this distinct turnaround in attitudes,"​ he said.

"We believe mums are becoming increasingly concerned about obesity and general health and well-being. They're developing a greater awareness of the importance of food choices in a healthy lifestyle, and factoring dairy foods into the way we consume meals and the way families operate. Increased consumption of nutrient-rich dairy products is testament to this."

Data shows that Australia's per capita dairy consumption is up by 2 per cent, a trend not yet being repeated in other Western nations.

Dairy Australia has launched targeted TV advertising campaigns in the last year to promote consumption of three dairy products daily. The UK is trying to promote the same message and recent research will undoubtedly help boost sales of standard dairy products.

Studies have found that in contrast to popular belief, dairy products are associated with a lower risk of obesity in young girls. The dairy sector has also embraced like no other the concept of functional foods, which are driving growth in the sector.

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