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Life-Course Trajectories of Milk Consumption among Young Norwegian Women and their Knowledge of Milk as a Source of Iodine: A Qualitative Study

Abstract

Sigrun Henjum*

By adopting a life-course perspective, this study aimed to investigate milk consumption practices in young Norwegian women and their knowledge of milk contribution to iodine status. Convenience sampling was used to recruit 30 bachelor students (women, 18 to 25 years old) from five different study programs. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to interpret milk consumption practices in a life-course perspective. Five focus group interviews were conducted using a semi-structured interview guide. The transcribed interviews were coded according to emerging themes related to milk consumption practices. Milk consumption trajectories were dynamic and changed over time and were influenced by several factors; family traditions, school milk subscription, friends and social media, availability, price, and attitudes towards health and environment. Young women tend to be in a phase of life in which milk, the main source of iodine in Norway, is not part of their food practices. Most of the women were not aware of the consequences of omitting milk from their diet and had a limited knowledge of iodine. Education of the consequences of omitting milk from the diet should be promoted as well as strategies to assure adequate iodine intake.

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