30 July, 2014
Australia’s dairy women are getting behind next week’s Healthy Bones Action Week (Aug 3
– 10) with local champions encouraging women in the dairy regions around Australia to take
steps to protect their bones against osteoporosis.
In Gippsland, for example, dairy farmer and general practitioner, Dr Sinead de Gooyer, is
actively backing the cause which she believes is an important health promotion initiative for
all Australians, with particular significance for those in dairy regions.
“Healthy Bones Action Week has enjoyed strong community support over the past 20 years.
There are three simple actions for healthy bones that we are asking people to share with
important women in their lives and by doing this we hope to create a stronger generation of
Australians,” said Sinead.
Two in three Australians will develop osteoporosis or osteopenia, and although commonly
perceived as only affecting the elderly, the damage can be done decades earlier in younger
women who do not prioritise their bone health. The prevalence of osteoporosis is continuing
to escalate and by 2022, 6.2 million Australians will be affected, an increase of 31 per cent
from 2012.1
“Osteoporosis is a condition I see a lot in the community, however because it can be silent
for many years, people often only become aware of it at an older age. And, it certainly
doesn’t discriminate between rural and urban people, everyone needs to be aware of the
importance of looking after their bones.”
An initiative of Dairy Australia for the past 20 years, Healthy Bones Action Week’s 2014
theme of “Stronger Together” calls on women of all ages to incorporate three simple actions
into their everyday lives to build and maintain healthy bones: enjoy milk, cheese and yogurt
for calcium; do weight bearing exercise; and, get safe sunshine for Vitamin D.
Adequate calcium intake is essential to keep bones strong and healthy, yet nine out of ten
women aged 19-49 years do not consume enough calcium-rich foods.2
“It’s important for women of all ages to ensure they are getting sufficient calcium in their diet
to build and maintain strong bones and enjoying dairy foods is a great way to do this,”
explains Sinead.
1 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
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
Sinead ensures her three young kids consume enough serves of dairy foods by adding it into
most meals and snacks. “Smoothies are a family favourite, the kids love the flavours and I
love sneaking in extra milk and yogurt into their diets.”
As important as it is for women’s bone health, dairy production is also a key economic driver
for regional Australia, which makes it all the more important for rural communities to get
behind this health week and show their support for local dairy producers and Australia’s
Legendairy industry.
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 supermarket voucher – there are 70 x $100 vouchers to be won
(10 every day during Healthy Bones Action Week!).
Visit www.healthybones.com.au for more information and recipe ideas.
For more information or photographs, please contact Dairy Australia: Emma Kershaw on 03 9694 3726;
0415 181 183; [email protected] or Kelly Ward on 03 9694 3834; 0407 860 834;
[email protected]