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Nestlé World Osteoporosis Day

Milking the benefits of daily dairy consumption

Survey reveals 57% of participants aren’t meeting their daily calcium requirements

Embargoed for print in September/October 2014 only: South Africans love their dairy. In an independent survey conducted by Nestlé South Africa, 95% of all participants listed dairy as the top food group they consumed daily, over and above fruit (94%), eggs (93%), red meat (90%) and starches (92%) like pap, pasta and potatoes.

Interesting, then, that the majority of dairy lovers don’t consume enough dairy to meet their daily calcium requirements. Overall, 57% consume less than 600mg of calcium a day – which is 400mg or more, below the recommended daily 1000mg dose for adults between 19 and 50.

It’s reassuring that so many participants know that dairy helps strengthen teeth (42%) and bones (89%), but worrying that 5% of the participants surveyed admitted they didn’t know what calcium is and only 2% of all respondents listed prevention of osteoporosis as benefit of consuming calcium in their daily diet.

With World Osteoporosis Day coming up on 20 October 2014, Nestlé South Africa is raising awareness about the degenerative diseases that can cause our bones to become fragile and break easily. In South Africa, one in three women and one in five men will develop this disease within their lifetime – potentially between four and six million South Africans*.

“The statistics are high but the good news is that through regular exercise and an adequate, well-balanced diet – incorporating a variety of minerals, vitamins and proteins – we can help prevent the degeneration of bones as we age,” says Nestlé Wellness Manager Naazneen Khan.

When surveyed about the most common dairy products consumed, respondents said milk (95%), yoghurt (93%) and cheese (91%). By drinking a glass of milk or maas every day, eating two slices of low fat cheese and a small container of yoghurt, you have already met your daily calcium requirement. Good thing then that the dairy products most commonly consumed are close to the respondents’ favourite dairy products: milk (29%), yoghurt (25%) and then ice cream (15%) for those hot South African summer days.

While milk and dairy products generally provide an inexpensive and accessible form of calcium that is well-absorbed and provides essential micronutrients such as vitamin B complex, zinc and phosphorus, Naazneen emphasises that no single food contains all the essential nutrients the body needs to function well.

When it comes to other food sources that contain calcium, a small portion of respondents did not know that fish (8%), nuts and seeds (10%) and vegetables (7%) are viable sources of calcium. There is a need for further nutritional information and education on other food groups that also contain calcium, especially for the group of the population that is lactose intolerant or does not enjoy dairy products and needs to find sources of calcium elsewhere.

Have a look at Nestlé South Africa’s calcium chart below to ensure that you’re eating at least three portions of calcium rich foods daily:

Milk, milk products and cheese Amount of calcium contained
1 glass of milk (1.5 % fat), 200 ml approx. 246 mg
1 container of yogurt (1.5 % fat), 150 g approx. 185 mg
1 slice of reduced fat cheese (45 % fat dry weight) 30 g approx. 309 mg
1 portion of broccoli, 200 g approx. 176 mg
1 portion of leeks, 200 g approx. 126 mg
Nuts and seeds
2 tablespoons almonds, 20 g approx. 50 mg
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, 20 g approx. 157 mg

For more helpful tips on how to adopt a healthy lifestyle, visit

Notes to editors

*Source: National Osteoporosis Foundation South Africa (

The Nestlé research

  • The research for this independent survey was conducted by Columinate
  • 400 participants took part in the survey, and they were unaware that the research was commissioned by Nestlé South Africa
  • Respondents of all races and ages from across the country were invited to participate

About Nestlé South Africa

Nestlé South Africa is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nestlé Switzerland. The company was formally registered in South Africa about 97 years ago. The first Nestlé products arrived in South Africa during the 1870s, and the company’s presence in South Africa was formally entrenched on 7 July 1916 when it registered as a company. In order to meet the demands of a growing country, local production started in 1927 with the purchase of the South African Condensed Milk Company Ltd factory in Donnybrook, and the Estcourt and Franklin factories. Nestlé South Africa also services neighbouring countries – Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana and Namibia. Nestlé is committed to bringing consumers tastier, healthier choices in their product offering, and will continuously strive to become the leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company.