Osteoporosis affects 1.2 million Australians, with the figure expected to reach three million by 2021. In New Zealand, more than half of women and nearly a third of men over the age of 60 live with the degenerative bone disease.
As well as this, 6.3 million people suffer from osteopenia (thin bones) and as many as four out of five people with osteoporosis are unaware they are suffering from it.
While most people understand the important role of a calcium rich diet in the prevention of bone degeneration and in maintaining strong bones, eight out of ten adults still fail to meet their minimum daily dairy requirements.
Dairy Australia hopes to set the record straight this Healthy Bones Week (4 –10 August), by re-educating people about how to look after their bones. In light of this, they’ve introduced new Dietary Guidelines that feature a larger recommended dairy intake for adults.
“The new dietary guidelines have been based on the most up-to-date science and we now know that many Australians need to consume a lot more dairy foods,” explained Dairy Australia dietitan, Glenys Zucco.
“Women over 50 years of age are now encouraged to double their intake of dairy foods from the previous recommendation of 2 serves a day to 4 serves, while all adults under 50 are urged to increase their daily dairy intake by half a serve from 2 to 2.5 serves.”
Upping our intake of Vitamin D and introducing more weight-bearing exercise into our daily fitness regimen is also recommended.
“You can’t cure osteoporosis but unlike many other diseases, it is possible to take steps to prevent it,” explained Osteoporosis Australia’s Healthy Bones Australia ambassador, Susie Burrell.
For more information on National Healthy Bones Week, visit www.healthybones.com.au