Dairy protein shakes are among the most popular meals for busy people, and they’re especially popular among teens.
But a new study suggests those teens may be missing out on some of the nutrients in the smoothies they’re eating.
In a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers looked at nearly 500,000 adolescents who were in the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences’ National Academy Meeting, and found that while their consumption of dairy protein shakes was low, it wasn’t as low as people who were skipping breakfast.
They found that a higher percentage of teens who ate breakfast were consuming protein shakes than those who skipped breakfast.
The researchers analyzed the diets of the participants, who were mostly in middle school, high school, and college.
They also analyzed food habits, such as how many calories they consumed in a day and how often they ate protein shakes.
The participants were asked to report how many protein shakes they had consumed each day, how often during the day they consumed a protein shake, and whether they were getting enough protein and calcium.
The results showed that the teens who skipped a breakfast meal were consuming about two and a half times more protein than the teens with the most breakfast meals.
But the researchers cautioned that they couldn’t say for certain how often the kids who skipped their breakfast were actually skipping the meal.
“There are many other potential factors, including their socioeconomic status, physical activity, and diet quality,” the researchers wrote.
“A low protein intake could also be due to the fact that they’re skipping breakfast and/or other breakfast meals,” they added.
The authors cautioned that their findings should not be interpreted as a call to restrict kids’ breakfast.
“This research is exploratory and not definitive, and further research is needed to identify optimal dietary patterns that may benefit all teens,” they wrote.
The study, which was conducted by researchers at Columbia University and the University of Virginia, is based on data collected by the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion at the University at Buffalo, and the National Center for Health Statistics.
The Center for Food Safety, the Food Quality Council, and Dairy Health and Nutrition Project have all supported the study.