Women are being urged to look after their bones during Healthy Bones Action Week (August 3-10), which aims to reverse the increasing prevalence of osteoporosis in Australia.

Two in three Australians will develop osteoporosis or osteopenia, and by 2022, 6.2 million Australians will be affected, an increase of 31 percent from 2012.[i]

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the week’s theme of “Stronger Together” calls on women to spread the message about the importance of protecting their bones to create a stronger generation of women.

During the week, women are being encouraged to incorporate three simple actions into their everyday lives to build and maintain healthy bones:

1. Enjoy milk, cheese and yogurt for calcium

2. Do weight bearing exercise

3. Get safe sunshine for Vitamin D

Dr Roxanne Portolesi, Nutrition Science Manager, from Dairy Australia said that osteoporosis is seen as an “older women’s” condition but the damage can be done decades earlier.

Around nine out of 10 women aged 19-49 years do not consume enough calcium-rich dairy foods to keep their bones healthy.[ii]

“Our bones are like bank accounts – the more you invest in them by incorporating calcium-rich foods in your snacks and meals, the more resilient your bones will be.

“There are many healthy and delicious ways of adding more calcium into your day – an easy way is to start and end your day with dairy.”

Some top tips for getting more calcium in your day include:

  • For an indulgent but healthy 3pm snack, slip the stone out of a fresh date, fill with fresh ricotta or cream cheese and roasted hazelnuts or almonds – perfect with a latte!
  • Spicy winter stews and slow-cooker casseroles go perfectly with a generous dollop of yogurt on top.
  • And, for dessert don’t forget the ever favourite custard. Keep a box of custard powder and some UHT milk in your pantry and you’ll have a healthy emergency dessert kit on hand whenever you need it.

As part of Healthy Bones Action Week, women are being urged to Share-Talk-Act for bone health by sending an e-health message to remind friends and family of the three simple actions that can help prevent osteoporosis. Every message shared provides an additional opportunity to win a $100 voucher – there are 70 x $100 vouchers to be won (10 every day during Healthy Bones Action Week!).

Visit www.healthybones.com.au to get involved or for information and recipe ideas.

[i]Watts J.J., Abimanyi-Ochom J, Sanders K.M. (2013), Osteoporosis costing all Australians A new burden of disease analysis – 2012 to 2022. Osteoporosis Australia, Glebe, 2013
[ii] Doidge JC, Segal L. (2013) New Australian Dietary Guidelines for consumption of dairy products: are they really evidence-based and does anyone meet them? Aust N Z J Pub Hlth. 2013; 37:536-7

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

  • Can not say I am good at looking after my bones but great tips


  • i think that i should have more calcium for my bones and future


  • Thanks for sharing this interesting article with good tips; love lots of dairy!


  • Great article – thank you. A timely reminder to look after my bones and set an example to my daughter at the same time. I’m sure she must get annoyed at my suggestions of eat cheese, yogurt and drink your milk! LOL.


  • just need to get into step 2


  • I like to think I look after my bones!


  • I tr to look after my bones but i don’t feel i do well enough.


  • Interesting read. I certainly don’t have enough calcium in my diet.


  • An important topic thanks for sharing


  • I think I have really neglected my bones as now I am getting older I have just diagnosed with osteoporosis


  • Fabulous advice here, I was told to do more weight bearing exercise.


  • I have thin bones caused by a “lifesaving” medication prescribed for me by a specialist several years ago. I had been on it for 4 years before it was proved to leech calcium and minerals from bones. I also have fair skin and burn very easily so I have to use sunscreen. I have to take calcium and vit. D
    I can’t do weight bearing exercises as I have muscle problems and I was advised that they would cause serious issues. I walk for at least 1/2 hour every day, often longer if the weather is OK.


  • No I don’t look after my bones & this story has made me realise I need to pay more attention to them.


  • I am just becoming aware of my bone health and starting to look after it now


  • I have terrible bone disease at age 42 and it’s extremely painful. I strongly advise all to pay attention to this article!


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