Real Talk about:

Do countries with the highest dairy intakes have higher rates of osteoporosis?

No, this is not the case. Countries with high rates of fractures tend to be countries with longer life expectancies (e.g. Nordic countries). Fracture rates are now rising in non-Western countries (e.g. China) as they see increasing longevity in parallel with greater urbanisation, more time spent indoors (less vitamin D) and more sedentary lifestyles.

Many factors determine whether a person will develop osteoporosis and be at increased fracture risk. Genetics (race, sex, family disposition) are major determinants of osteoporosis and fracture risk. Lifestyle habits such as physical activity, body weight, smoking, alcohol-use, as well as certain medications and diseases, are also important determinants of fracture risk. Vitamin D status has also been associated with bone health and this can be influenced by exposure to sunlight or a country’s latitude on the earth.

Dairy intake is not responsible for higher fracture rates, nor does dairy consumption alone guarantee strong healthy bones. However, dairy provides an important source of nutrients such as protein, calcium and phosphorus which have scientifically substantiated roles in bone growth, development and maintenance. The inclusion of dairy foods as part of a bone-friendly lifestyle is recognised by leading Osteoporosis authorities both nationally and internationally.

The inclusion of dairy foods as part of a bone-friendly lifestyle is recognised by leading Osteoporosis authorities both nationally and internationally.  Find lots more great information from the International Osteoporosis Foundation here.