Why Are Americans Drinking Way Less Milk?

I donít drink nearly as much milk as I did when I was a child, but, then again, I am an adult and adults tend not to order milk with a meal. But my child really doesnít like milk, and when I look around, none of his friends drink all that much milk (at least electively). So as these indicators might predict, milk consumption in the good old US of A is down, way down. It seems Americans are drinking less and less milk over time and the USDA, along with the dairy industry, really want to know the reason why.

A recent USDA study shows that there has been a steady declining consumption of milk since the 1970s and more recent generations of Americans show greater decreases in consumption frequency, holding constant other factors such as education and race. What does this mean you may ask? Well it is not about lactose intolerance, as some might suspect. Believe it or not, a lot of it has to do with race, according to this study. The declining majority of white people has something to do with it as well as the multivariate analysis that shows that being black or Latino is indeed negatively correlated with milk consumption.

The study, as is the nature of most of these studies, goes to great lengths to identify the reason why fewer people are drinking milk but doesnít provide a satisfying conclusion other than young people are just not super jazzed about having milk as a regular part of their drinking regimen. Maybe it has something to do with the rise of lactose intolerance, or maybe we have been spooked by heath scares, or have just found better modes of calcium delivery?

Are you still an avid milk drinker or has your consumption waned greatly? Have you noticed a falling off of milkís popularity? If so, what is your theory?


Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla3 years ago

Awesome! This is good for the environment and the abused cows

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe5 years ago

I never liked the taste of milk, plus it makes my stomach hurt.
But, my husband is a different story! He drinks a glass of milk every day! I keep telling him he is drinking a baby calf's milk, but he ignores me! Then, I tell him he is too old to drink milk (he's 62) and he turns away from me as he drinks it on down!

Past Member
Claire T5 years ago

I'm not fond of milk for a couple of reasons, it makes me feel ill in the stomach and it is also stealing from baby cows.

Manuela C.
Manuela C5 years ago

No dairy milk here.

MacKenzie H.
MacKenzie H5 years ago

Similar to other comments, I drank milk as a child but stopped when I moved out on my own because it went bad quickly. I found I preferred the taste and the shelf life of plant milks like soy or almond. Now knowing what I do about the dairy industry, I wouldn't go back.

tiffany t.
tiffany t5 years ago

Breast milk is best for infants but after that water is best, we do not need to drink milk, esp another animals milk, we are the only species that i am aware of that drinks milk after toddler years, we can derive calcium from so many other sources, milk only contains about 3 percent calcium anyway, so not good source. people are becoming more aware of the actual contents of milk,

Anne Woods
Anne Woods5 years ago


Sheila D.
Sheila D5 years ago

Personally, I stopped drinking milk when I considered that cow's milk is for calves, and they grow into 1000 pound animals. My choice of drinking other, healthier, drinks was reinforced when I realized how many hormones, antibiotics, and other bad stuff is fed to cattle, which is bound to come out in their milk. I have also stopped eating beef, partly because of what they're fed, but also for other personal reasons.
If someone likes the taste and texture of drinking cow's milk, there are many alternatives out there that are much better for us, as long as it's organic. Soy milk, almond milk, and rice milk are what come to mind.
The dairy industry needs to get back to basics and start feeding their cattle real food, not pharmaceuticals. Maybe then people will reconsider, but by then people may have moved on and found a better product.

Amy Fisher
Amy Fisher5 years ago

I've always hated milk. My mother made me drink it when I was a kid, but I resisted. It'd put it in my breakfast cereal, but the only way I'd drink milk straight was with Hershey's chocolate syrup in it. Once I moved out on my own, I would buy milk only for cereal, but since I rarely ate cereal, the milk would go bad because I never used it. I finally realized I was wasting a lot of money on milk I wasn't using. I decided to try soymilk in my cereal, and liked the results. I've also tried rice milk and almond milk. These days my preference is vanilla flavored almond milk in my cereal and chocolate soymilk on the very rare occasions when I want to drink milk. I haven't had dairy milk in years, and I don't miss it.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G5 years ago

Noted... I never was a milk fan.