S'porean women risk poor bone health by placing family first: Survey

PHOTO: S'porean women risk poor bone health by placing family first: Survey

SINGAPORE - More than a third of women in Singapore place their families' health ahead of their own.

This is despite more than half admitting that their own health is average or poor, a new consumer survey revealed.

The survey, commissioned by Anlene, also showed that more than a third of the women are not getting the recommended daily calcium intake of 800mg through their diet and one in five women exercise less than once a week.

In addition, nearly a quarter of Singaporean women are not aware of the natural sources of Vitamin D.  Maintaining bone health requires a balanced diet rich in calcium, protein and vitamin D as well as regular weight-bearing exercise.

Commenting on the survey findings, Fonterra Nutritionist Adult Joanne Todd said Singaporean women neglecting their health to focus on their families' needs could be putting them at risk of poor bone health.

"It is concerning to see that many Singaporean women are not doing enough to look after their bones and prevent the onset of crippling bone-related diseases such as osteoporosis," she said.

"Good bone health is essential for people to stay fit and active and continue doing the things they love - whether that's looking after family, playing with your children or simply going for a walk."

The incidence of hip fractures has already risen two to three-fold in most Asian countries over the past 30 years and International Osteoporosis Foundation expects that by 2050, more than 50 per cent of all osteoporotic hip fractures will occur in Asia, said the foundation's Chief Executive Officer Judy Stenmark.

"IOF's Asian Audit further showed that the increase rate of hip fracture is 71 per cent higher for women than men. Fractures resulting from weak bones and other diseases related to bones, muscles and joints, do not only result in a large financial cost, they can also significantly reduce a woman's ability to enjoy physical activity or look after her family," she added.

Michelle Yeoh, Anlene ambassador and bone health advocate, is calling on all Singaporean women to focus on their health and well-being on International Women's Day, emphasising the need for women to pay particular attention to their bone health.

"As an actor, the demands on my time, body and mind can be very challenging. This is why I pay particular attention to my calcium and vitamin D intake and make sure that I make time to get enough weight-bearing exercise every day.

"I urge all Singaporean women to do the same," she said.

yamadak@sph.com.sg