Healthy Bones Action Week
Healthy Bones Action Week
On Day One of Healthy Bones Action Week, the South Australian Dairyfarmers Association is keen to highlight new economic analysis performed on the Fractures Trial. Data released by Monash University highlights that the intervention identified in the trial could save the health system $66 million annually in preventative healthcare costs, including hospitalisation, ambulance transport and rehabilitation. By simply increasing the average dairy intake from 2 to 3.5 serves per day, aged care facilities can expect to save $175 per resident per year. The cost of this intervention is a tiny $0.66c per resident per day.
The Fractures trial was ground-breaking research undertaken by the University of Melbourne which linked milk, cheese and yoghurt with the prevention of falls and fractures in aged care residents. The Trial investigated how the food served in aged care facilities impacted on the health of the residents. Sixty aged-care facilities and over 7000 residents took part in the study over two years, where half of the facilities continued with their regular menu and the other half increased their serves of dairy (milk, cheese, yoghurt, and skim milk powder) from an average of two to 3.5 serves per day.
The study found a 33 percent reduction in all fractures, a 46 percent reduction in hip fractures, and an 11 percent reduction in falls in the group that increased dairy. Providing adequate milk, cheese and yoghurt in the diets of older populations is a proven, easy and low-cost intervention to reducing the fracture burden in the whole community. The research provides critical evidence to support policy reforms that improve nutritional outcomes for aged care residents with additional dairy consumption.
These results are a timely reminder of the power of nutrition for overall health, especially in the context of the Federal Government’s recent $12.9 million dollar commitment to improved food provision in aged care. Milk, cheese and yoghurt must be included in the diet of aged care residents as they not only improve nutritional status and reduce the risk of falls and fractures, but to also maximise the impact of this committed investment into aged care menus. Including more milk, cheese and yoghurt in aged care menus is a wholefood approach that is simple, affordable, accessible and something that can be easily implemented and accepted by food service staff and aged care residents alike.
In relation to Healthy Bones Action Week, the focus for this year’s campaign is on women 50+. Preventative measures are key to healthy ageing. Some key statistics are:
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This table identifies the key nutrients found in dairy foods and the role they play in our bodies.