The number of U.S. adults who consumed dairy products at least once a week declined by one-third from a decade ago, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
More than 40 percent of the 1.6 million adults who took part in the 2015-16 survey said they consumed at least one serving of dairy products per week, down from 46 percent in 2011-12.
While that number remains below the 70 percent threshold that is associated with the healthy diet recommended by the American Dietetic Association, it is up from 41 percent in 2007-08 and 36 percent in 1998-99.
It is also up from 31 percent in 2000-01 and 31 percent a decade earlier.
“There’s a lot of excitement about the dairy industry,” said Jennifer A. Dye, a dairy researcher at the University of Iowa who did not participate in the survey.
“There’s more talk about the health benefits, and there’s less talk about dairy.”
There are many different ways that dairy is produced and consumed.
Dairy farmers can add protein to dairy products by adding it to butter.
The American dairy industry produces about 2.7 billion pounds of milk a year, with more than half of that coming from dairy cows.
And the number of dairy cows has increased steadily over the past few decades, with the number increasing from 4.2 million in 1990 to 6.9 million in 2015.
The number of cows in production is increasing in other ways, too.
Dairy farmers have become increasingly efficient in the use of fertilizers, which have reduced water use.
But the dairy supply chain also is becoming more complex, with new dairy producers coming on the scene each year.
At the same time, consumers are getting more choices, as more producers produce more than just milk.
In the past, consumers bought more milk to help them meet the demand of specific food groups.
Now, the more milk that is sold, the less choice is available.
For many people, dairy products are a healthy option.
A few years ago, the average American consumed about 8 ounces of milk per day, or one-fifth of their daily intake, according, to the U.K. Department of Health and Human Services.
Now, the consumption is around 5 ounces, or half of their intake.
That is a big change from years past, when Americans ate as little as 1.3 ounces of dairy per day.
Dr. David A. Hartwig, a professor of nutrition and director of the Nutrition Research Center at the Cleveland Clinic, said the dairy-free diet is becoming increasingly popular because of the convenience it offers.
Consumers are looking for a more convenient way to buy milk, he said.
People are choosing healthier, cheaper products.
Some of the new dairy products being promoted as healthier are yogurt, butter, milk, cheese and even cottage cheese.
There is no longer a lot separating people from dairy, he added.
As more people choose to avoid dairy, it could make the U of A’s dairy industry more sustainable, he suggested.
Still, there are some new things that are not so healthy, Hartwig said.
He pointed to the recent study that showed a higher risk of cancer and heart disease in people who consumed more dairy products.
But that is not the only concern.
According to the CDC, the prevalence of diabetes has increased by 20 percent over the last 10 years.
Americans are consuming too much salt and too little protein, Hartwick said.
And the average amount of saturated fat in our diets is too high.
One way to cut down on saturated fat is to eat less saturated fat.
Studies have shown that eating more fruits and vegetables can lower cholesterol, increase HDL, a type of cholesterol that is linked to lower risk of heart disease.
When it comes to saturated fat, it’s important to remember that the American Heart Association recommends no more than 10 percent of your total daily calories come from saturated fat for optimal health.