Children with high blood pressure tend to have high blood pressure as adults, putting them at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. A previous study of dietary patterns and blood pressure in children found that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and dairy products was associated with lower blood pressure in early adolescence. The current study examined the association of dairy products and blood pressure independent of fruits and vegetables in 610 Canadian children with a parental history of obesity. Findings showed that consuming two or more servings per day of milk, yogurt or cheese was associated with a statistically significant lower systolic blood pressure compared with consuming one serving or less.

The study used baseline data from a subgroup of children aged 8 to 10 years enrolled in the ongoing Quebec Adipose and Lifestyle Investigation in Youth (QUALITY) study. The children consumed an average of 1.6 servings of dairy foods daily, not meeting the recommendation of Canada’s Food Guide of two servings per day for this age group. These results highlight the importance of youth meeting dairy intake recommendations.

Yuan WL, Kakinami L, Gray-Donald K, Czernichow S, Lambert M, Paradis G. Influence of dairy product consumption on children’s blood pressure: Results from the QUALITY Cohort. J Acad Nutr Diet. [Epub ahead of print]. 2013 May 16. Abstract