Rediscover dairy for bone health

The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA and the National Osteoporosis Foundation of SA (NOFSA), will launch the “Rediscover Dairy for Bone Health” campaign in 80 Pick ‘n Pay and Spar supermarkets nationwide on the 17th October 2011. The purpose of this campaign is to alert the South African public to the risks of osteoporosis and how to prevent this degenerative bone disease by eating dairy products and doing physical activity.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis, also known as ‘the silent disease’, is characterised by loss of bone mass and a decrease in bone quality which can lead to fractures of the spine, wrist, hip or ribs. In the USA, osteoporosis is responsible for more than 1.5 million bone fractures in older people every year. Although this disease still affects primarily older women (1 in 3 women), it can also affect men (1 in 5 men) and young people. Up to 20% of people suffering a hip fracture, die within one year and more than 50% will never regain the ability to function independently. 

How can Osteoporosis be Prevented?

Osteoporosis can be prevented by making sure that all of us deposit enough calcium in our skeletons before the age of 30 years. Dairy products, such as milk, yoghurt, cheese and maas, are the best sources of easily absorbable calcium and high quality protein in the human diet. If you combine 3 servings of milk and dairy with ongoing physical activity from childhood, you can be sure that you have laid down an adequate supply of calcium in your skeleton to help prevent future osteoporosis.

Start as Early as Possible

Bone building with calcium and exercise should start in childhood because bone that is growing, is better at accumulating bone mass than adult bone. So Moms need to make sure that their toddlers, school children and teenagers are getting a good supply of easily absorbable calcium and high quality protein from milk and dairy products every day and are doing plenty of weight-bearing exercise like walking, running, tennis, skipping, or dancing. These healthy habits should be maintained for a lifetime.

Lost Opportunities

Calcium deposition in bones reached a peak during the teenage years. Unfortunately this is often when young people, particularly girls, stop drinking milk and eating dairy products in the erroneous belief that these calcium–rich foods are fattening or ‘just for kids’. If you are worried about your figure, use low-fat or fat-free dairy products to get all the benefits of calcium, without the fat. Adolescents who drink mainly carbonated cold drinks are especially vulnerable to stress fractures, due to their fragile bone structures.

Awareness Campaign

Look out for the “Rediscover Dairy for Bone Health” banners in your Pick ‘n Pay or Spar supermarkets in October and November. Osteoporosis is a debilitating disease, but all of us can help prevent it by having 3 servings of milk or dairy products every day and keeping active. 

Visit the Milk SA website at:   for more information about dairy and osteoporosis prevention, and look for the “Rediscover Dairy for Bone Health” banners in your supermarket.

Outwit osteoporosis with milk, yoghurt, cheese or maas, and keeping active all your life.

(The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA and the National Osteoporosis Foundation of SA - NOFSA)

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