O'connor LE, Eaton TK, Savaiano DA - 46610 - J Nutr Educ Behav 2015 ; in press.

Improving Milk Intake in Milk-Averse Lactose Digesters and Maldigesters

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether a 21-day milk-drinking intervention could reverse milk aversion. DESIGN: Participants consumed increasing amounts of cow’s milk for 21 days. Milk and dairy consumption, aversion, and likeness were assessed pre- and post-intervention and at 3 and 6 months post-intervention.

SETTING: A large Midwestern university.

PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-seven milk-averse individuals completed the intervention, 26 completed the 3-month follow-up, and 24 completed the 6-month follow-up.

MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURED: Participants self-reported milk and dairy consumption, aversion, and degree to which they liked milk.

ANALYSIS: Analysis of variance determined between-subject effects. Independent samples t test determined the effect of time. Fisher exact test determined factors affecting milk consumption.

RESULTS: Lactose digesters and maldigesters showed a significant decrease in overall symptom scores after the milk intervention, with no significant difference between groups. Independent of digestive status, subjects demonstrated a significant decrease in aversion, an increase in the amount to which they liked milk, and an increase in milk and overall calcium consumption at 3 and 6 months post-intervention.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: The results suggest a reversal of milk avoidance and the possibility that milk avoiders can increase likeness and incorporate milk into their diet after exposure.