Beating the osteoporosis stats

Strengthen bones through exercise and increased calcium intake to help prevent osteoporosis.

Australians are being urged to focus on strengthening their bones through exercise and increased calcium intake to help prevent the onset of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis affects about two in three women and one in three men over sixty, with gradual bone loss beginning between 30-40 years of age.

Anita Hobson Powell of Exercise & Sports Science Australia's (ESSA) used National Healthy Bones Weeks to call for Australians of all ages to focus on the benefits of exercise in maintaining healthy bones. “Many people are not aware that the right exercise can actually modify the shape and size of bones so that they are stronger and better protected from injury,” said Ms Hobson-Powell.

“There is the additional benefit of exercise increasing muscle strength and improving balance which also reduces the risk of falling. More than 90% of hip fractures in people with osteoporosis occur as a direct result of a fall.”

ESSA’s recommendations are made as part of the organisation’s Exercise is Medicine initiative, which aims to make every doctor consider physical activity and exercise as a standard part of treatment programs to ensure more people are being prescribed exercise for either prevention or treatment of chronic conditions.

Factors which increase bone loss include menopause in women (less oestrogen causes faster bone loss), immobilisation which may be as a result of treating fractures or joint injuries; some medical conditions or their treatments; an inactive lifestyle and not enough calcium and vitamin D in the diet.

Dairy Australia Dietitian, Glenys Zucco says for bones to benefit most from exercise, people need to be consuming their recommended daily intake of calcium. “Unfortunately, at least half of all Australians do not meet their recommended intake of calcium,” Ms Zucco said.

The recommended daily intake of calcium is three serves of dairy foods, with one serve being the equivalent of:

  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • 1 tub (200g) yogurt
  • 2 slices (40g) cheese 

For more information and fact sheets please visit It is strongly recommend that you see an accredited exercise physiologist for an appropriate and safe exercise prescription if you have been diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis.


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    21st Aug 2012
    "The myth that osteoporosis is caused by calcium deficiency was created to sell dairy products and calcium supplements. There's no truth to it. American women are among the biggest consumers of calcium in the world, and they still have one of the highest levels of osteoporosis in the world. And eating even more dairy products and calcium supplements is not going to change that fact."
    —Dr. John McDougall, The McDougall Program for Women (2000)

    "It is hard to turn on the television without hearing commercials suggesting that milk promotes strong bones. The commercials do not point out that only 30 percent of milk's calcium is absorbed by the body or that osteoporosis is common among milk drinkers. Nor do they help you correct the real causes of bone loss."
    —Dr. Neal Barnard

    One study, funded by the National Dairy Council, involved giving a group of postmenopausal women three 8-ounce glasses of skim milk per day for two years and comparing their bones to those of a control group of women not given the milk. The dairy group consumed 1,400 mg of calcium per day and lost bone at twice the rate of the control group. Dr. John McDougall

    Says Dr. T. Colin Campbell, the world's leading epidemiological researcher in the field of diet and health, "The dairy folks, ever since the 1920s, have been enormously successful in cultivating an environment within virtually all segments of our society—from research and education to public relations and politics—to have us believing that cow's milk and its products are manna from heaven. … Make no mistake about it; the dairy industry has been virtually in total control of any and all public health information that ever rises to the level of public scrutiny."

    A National Institutes of Health study out of the University of California, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2001), found that "Women who ate most of their protein from animal sources had three times the rate of bone loss and 3.7 times the rate of hip fractures of women who ate most of their protein from vegetable sources."

    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2000) looked at all aspects of diet and bone health and found that high consumption of fruits and vegetables positively affect bone health and that dairy consumption did not.

    "The association between the intake of animal protein and fracture rates appears to be as strong as the association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer."
    —Dr. T. Colin Campbell

    "Milk, it now seems clear, is not the solution to poor bone density. To the contrary, it's part of the problem."
    —Dr. Charles Attwood

    Drinking milk builds dairy producers' profits, but as the above studies show, it's more likely to harm your bones than to help them. And dairy foods are linked to all sorts of other problems, including obesity, heart disease and cancer (including breast cancer and prostate cancer) and are likely to be contaminated with trace levels of antibiotics, hormones, and other chemicals, including dioxin, one of the most toxic substances known to humans (The Washington Post reported that "the latest EPA study concludes that people who consume even small amounts of dioxin in fatty foods and dairy products face a cancer risk of 1 in 100. They may also develop other problems, such as attention disorder, learning disabilities, susceptibility to infections and liver disorders" (April 12, 2001).
    21st Aug 2012
    BTW who has the time firstly, to write such a lengthy comment. Secondly who has time to read it.
    Just goes to show there is a sceptic for everything. Good for forums keeping everyone on their toes.
    18th May 2013
    Hi KeyC "There are sceptics" would be a better term as there are numerous researchers mentioning the ' Dairy Is Disease' link! See
    By the way, Key C and G are my favourite keys.
    21st Aug 2012
    add to the list Calcium supplements, also hyped up as helping to reduce osteoporosis risk. There is no evidence to support the claims, but there maybe a possible increased risk of cardiovascular disease from these supplements
    21st Aug 2012
    Hi KeyC,
    As a professional health provider (Kinesiologist/sports therapist) we have an extensive file system on which to draw when needed. I did not write all that! Just collected from a variety of sources and medical journals.
    But thank you! Perhaps the ones in need will read it!
    22nd Aug 2012
    Improving bone density does not depend on just taking calcium rich foods and or taking supplements. Exercise is also a factor. As in any case of health improvement, it has to come different sources because of the differences in how our body processes nutrients and how our body reacts or interacts.
    28th Aug 2012
    Dairy products cause the body to become acidic. The body then has to draw calcium from the bones to regulate its acid/alkaline balance. The result of this is that calcium literally goes down the drain when one goes to the bathroom.

    This is why western countries suffer the highest rate of bone loss.

    Meals should be approx. 20% acid and 80% alkaline
    17th May 2013
    I have wondered about the link of lack of Vit D to osteoporosis as I myself have the insidious disease, yet for a long number of years I have been a sunlover. I always felt energised after my stint on the beach with much more energy & less pain in the back. BTW I never allowed myself to burn nor did I use creams. I allowed a correct amount of time & had a healthy tan which I kept going all year. Lucky I live in Qld. BUT what I am saying is, if a lack of Vit D is one of the causes of osteoporosis, how come I have it now? I am 71 & have a shocking spinal condition. I have always taken supplements & tried to eat sensibly. I am believing it may be genetic and/or linked to fractures when young. I was in a car accident. However I considered I compensated by doing the right thing. Who really knows?
    17th May 2013
    Hi Terrib, Spinal issues are caused by muscles malfunctioning. It is not the spine that holds up the body, but muscles that hold up the spine. Muscle balance does not depend on what supplement you take, but from what you need to delete from your diet. Go back to basics! Vegetables, beans, and legumes. Herbivores don't suffer from osteoporosis. Once you feel better you can add some food items and see if your pains return. If they do, eliminate that food item from your diet, and never eat it again.. Many people think they are doing the right thing by actually doing the wrong thing. Give up dairy products for a start. They are implicated in a list of health problems as long as your arm. I guarantee you will feel better. After all, there comes a time to wean and go onto solid food for all mammals!
    17th May 2013
    kino do you think I did not do that? My diet is good, my supplementation is good according to my condition. I have chronic disc degeneration, scoliosis, osteoarthritis, you want me to go on because I have a list as long as your arm. One curve in my spine was so bad I went in for a major op last year to try & correct it before it collapsed, it was moving so fast. The spine is bone on bone so work out how long it will hold me up. I also have fibromyalgia which is a muscle problem. I have done my research over the years so I do know what I am talking about. I can feel it too!!!
    18th May 2013
    Fibromyalgia is a Candida overgrowth problem and can be overcome with a proper diet. See 'Candida Yeast Overgrowth A Culprit in Fibromyalgia Pain'. Candida can also be the cause of a zillion other symptoms, including bipolar, dementia, ADD, ADHD and most of the health problems you are experiencing and a whole list also as long as your arm of other symptoms.
    Read up on Candida and fibromyalgia.
    Disease does not just 'attack' us. We provide the opportunity for disease to manifest by our lifestyle, which includes diet, of course.
    18th May 2013
    I have followed a very healthy diet & lifestyle for the past 40 years & I do my research constantly on what is the right thing to do & eat so please don't tell me what I should do. I do not have those symptoms that you suggest. I object to someone who has not experienced these things suggesting I am demented or any other such thing. Many things are written by people without any clue so do not believe everything that is written. My Doctor & I work closely with my problems & have done for over 20 years he has been my GP. I also have a naturapath.
    18th May 2013
    Hi Terrib. You obviously wallow in your own sorrows, well balanced on the whole, with a chip on both shoulders. Sorry i can't help you if you won't help yourself.
    Good luck.
    18th May 2013
    Here is a report from a Dr Roizen on the condition of fibromyalgia. It is not as you think
    "Fibromyalgia is a common, but misunderstood, syndrome that affects millions of people. Many people who have fibromyalgia suffer from constant deep muscle pain, fatigue, depression, and sleep problems. Others have muscle pain, irritable bowel syndrome, numbness, and other symptoms that come and go. While there are many theories on what causes fibromyalgia, there is no known cause or cure. Because so much about fibromyalgia is unknown, doctors often try many different medications and treatments to find the most effective therapies."
    As he says & many other Doctors around the world also say. There is NO known cause or cure. It is a shame you think you know it all.
    End of story.
    Yup I Know
    16th May 2018
    I eat yogurt daily. Have milk with my muesli. I have had 3 horrendous falls. Once from top of stairs to the bottom. Extenuating circumstances. Another fall from standing on a bar stool directly onto my elbow. N No. 3. I have NEVER broken a bone.

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