Up your dairy intake to improve bone health

Recent data released by Dairy Australia reveals 90 per cent of women aged over 50 agree that dairy foods are good for their bones, but only nine per cent of women 50 plus are aware of their recommended serves of dairy of four per day, a significant increase from two and a half serves between the ages of 19-50.

Many women over 50 are transitioning through menopause. With the change in hormones comes an increase in the risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become thin (less dense) and may fracture easily. Dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt are essential for building and maintaining strong bones and can play a crucial role in mitigating the effects of age-related bone loss.

This Healthy Bones Action Week (21-27 August) Dairy Australia is encouraging Australians to reassess their dairy intake to ensure they are consuming the recommended amount per day, particularly as they age. For many Australians, this means doubling your dairy.

A serve from the dairy food group is a cup (250ml) of milk, three-quarters of a cup (200g) yoghurt, two slices (40g) of cheese and half a cup (120g) of ricotta cheese. Importantly, the number of serves should be increasing with age, and will differ by gender for optimum bone strength and overall health.


To meet the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommended serves of milk, cheese, yoghurt and/or alternatives:

  • Women over 50 require 4 serves
  • Men over 70 require 3.5 serves each day
  • Adults aged 19- 50 need 2.5 serves each day
  • Teens need 3.5 serves each day
  • Depending on their age and gender, children need between 1.5 and 3 serves each day

Dairy Australia nutrition expert Glenys Zucco says by not consuming the recommended serves of dairy, Australian women are putting themselves at risk.

Dairy foods are a nutrient-dense powerhouse providing a unique package of more than 10 essential nutrients. Research shows increasing intake of dairy to the adequate recommended serves can significantly reduce the rates of falls and fractures in older Australians while also reducing the effects of age-related bone and muscle loss,” Zucco said.

“There are so many easy and delicious ways to introduce additional serves of dairy into daily meal planning.”

The Unstoppables are a group of Australian women from across the country, who are fifty and fitter than ever. They are here to help inspire Australians this Healthy Bones Action Week on how to get the most out of life.

The Unstoppables are engaging in regular movement; weight training, pilates, walking, and running while also inspiring other women to enjoy an active lifestyle through enjoyable movement. They couple this exercise with plenty of dairy, and they truly can’t be stopped.

As Australians age, their bodies shouldn’t hinder the fun and enjoyment of everyday life. To build and maintain good bone health, there are three things that Australians can implement into their daily routine to become ‘unstoppable’ in older age, maintaining a vibrant, active, and healthy lifestyle to keep doing the things they love.

  1. Calcium intake through foods like milk, cheese, and yoghurt.
  2. Weight bearing exercise such as walking, running, skipping and resistance training and sports like tennis and netball.
  3. Vitamin D through safe sun exposure. 

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