1 in 3 Singaporeans not getting enough calcium

1 in 3 Singaporeans not getting enough calcium

SINGAPORE - A new survey has found that Singaporeans are not meeting their daily calcium needs, nor are they getting enough exercise to stay active as they age.

The survey, commissioned by Anlene ahead of World Osteoporosis Day, showed that only 60 per cent of women aged 18 to 30 are eating dairy-rich foods on a daily basis and 77 per cent of Singaporeans do not exercise enough.

Forty per cent of people said they exercise less than once a week and 37 per cent said they exercise one to three times a week.

The World Health Organisation recommends people do at least 30 minutes of moderate to intensive exercise five times a week to maintain strong and healthy bones.

Yet despite this, more than half of all Singaporeans want to be fitter and more active than their parents when they reach 50.

"Our bone mass peaks at around 30 years old. When we reach this age, without adequate nutrition and regular exercise, bones can start to become thinner and more brittle. This can lead to bone related diseases such as osteoporosis - a debilitating disease that severely limits mobility," said Fonterra Innovation Manager Adult Joanne Todd.

Highlighting the exercise findings, Ms Todd said: "Exercising three times a week or less is not enough to keep people fit and active as they get older. Daily weight bearing exercise and a balanced diet, rich in calcium, protein and vitamin D are crucial to maintaining strong and healthy bones."

International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) Chief Executive Officer Judy Stenmark said that osteoporosis is becoming a major health problem not only in Singapore, but across Asia.

"Findings from the IOF Asian Audit carried out in 2009 highlighted that half the world's osteoporotic hip fractures will occur in Asia by 2050, highlighting the prevalence of osteoporosis across the region," she said.

yamadak@sph.com.sg

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