Glenys Zucco National Healthy Bones Week Interview
Dairy Australia is calling on all women to 'wake up their bones with breakfast' during National Healthy Bones Week this August, by enjoying a dairy-rich breakfast each morning - be it sharing a breaky with workmates or a weekend brunch with friends.
This follows a new Australian study which showed participants who skipped breakfast were less likely to meet the dietary recommendations for dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt, which are the major contributors of calcium to the diet.
Glenys Zucco dietitian Dairy Australia said if your intake of calcium is low, your body will take calcium from the bones to use for other important functions. A long term lack of dietary calcium can result in osteoporosis later in life.
"This is why it is so crucial to have a daily supply of calcium-rich dairy foods at all ages. Breakfast is an ideal opportunity to kick off your calcium quota by ensuring you have at least one of the recommended three daily serves of dairy foods."
"Research suggests eating breakfast can also help maintain healthy weight by reducing the likelihood of snacking on less healthy foods. In fact, an Australian study showed reaching for skim milk instead of a fruit drink at breakfast reduces hunger throughout the morning and causes people to eat fewer kilojoules at lunch," she said.
But despite its proven benefits, only 62% of women aged 18-29 are having breakfast every day.
"National Healthy Bones Week is the perfect time to make dairy and breakfast a daily habit. Whether it's milk and yogurt in a smoothie or on your favourite muesli or a latte on the way to work start the day with calcium-rich dairy and get the added benefits of protein and other important nutrients," she added.
Dr Sandra Iuliano-Burns, a bone researcher from Melbourne University said young women may not think about their bone health, but for bones to last into old age we need to nourish them at all life stages.
"During your adults years is the chance to consolidate your skeleton, like not dipping into your savings before retirement. Eating calcium-rich foods, getting regular weight-bearing exercise and adequate vitamin D will help minimise bone loss so you can still be active later in life," she said.
Three serves of dairy foods every day will provide women aged 19 - 50 with the calcium they need to maintain strong bones. A serve is equal to 250ml glass milk, 200g tub yogurt or 40g of cheese.
This year Dairy Australia is making it easy for women to meet their daily recommended calcium intake, with an online calcium meal planner for download at www.healthybones.com.auNational Healthy Bones Week Activities
To help Australians learn more about having a bone friendly eating plan during National Healthy Bones Week, the following activities and resources will be available: Healthy Bones Brekkie
: During NHBW Dairy Australia will host a free consumer breakfast in Melbourne for people to enjoy a dairy rich breakfast on their way to work. Although Dairy Australia are not hosting breakfasts nationwide, all Australians will be encouraged to wake up their bones by enjoying dairy filled breakfasts during National Healthy Bones Week - from cafés to schools and local community groups to office workers, gyms, mums and their little ones, students, grandparents... everyone can stage their own dairy rich brekkie. Resources
: Resources are available online from the NHBW website www.healthybones.com.au
providing information on ways to improve and maintain bone health, delicious calcium-rich breakfast recipe ideas, calcium meal planners for all age groups and other tips and suggestions for the prevention of osteoporosis.
Established in 1994, National Healthy Bones Week
raises awareness of the important role calcium-rich foods, such as dairy, have in the development and maintenance of healthy bones and prevention of osteoporosis throughout life. The campaign educates Australians on the importance of developing and maintaining strong bones and encouraging active steps towards a healthier bone mass via the consumption of a calcium-rich diet, including dairy foods.
National Healthy Bones Week is organised by Dairy Australia.
Interview with Glenys Zucco
As a qualified Dietician and Dairy Australia's Nutrition Media Manager, Glenys' focus is on educating Australians about the health and nutritional benefits of dairy foods.
Glenys achieves this through communicating new science about dairy foods, regularly producing and updating Dairy Australia's nutrition-related consumer resources and helping develop Dairy Australia's marketing campaigns. She is a regular industry commentator and spokesperson for Dairy Australia in the media and travels around Australia speaking at health professional conferences, schools, agricultural shows and other community events.
Glenys Zucco holds a Bachelor Applied Science (Health Promotion) & Bachelor Nutrition and Dietetics from Deakin University and is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist.
Glenys is originally from a dairy farm in the rural Victorian town of Katunga. Question:
What is the importance of a calcium rich diet?Glenys Zucco
: Calcium is essential for building and maintaining strong bones. It combines with other minerals (like phosphorus) to form hard crystals that give bones their strength. Because our bodies can't make calcium, it must come from our diet. If we don't eat enough calcium-rich foods, calcium will be taken from the bones, and over time bones will become weak and brittle (leading to a disease called osteoporosis). This is why it is so crucial to have a daily supply of calcium-rich foods throughout life.
Our greatest window of opportunity to build bone strength and ultimately reduce the risk of osteoporosis is during childhood. Along with the rest of their body, children's bones are growing rapidly throughout this period of their life. It is critical that children receive enough daily calcium to ensure their bones achieve their maximum strength.
From early adulthood, bones gradually lose mineral and strength. Eating enough calcium-containing foods throughout adulthood may help slow bone mineral loss and therefore reduce the risk of osteoporosis.Question:
How much dairy does the average adult need in their daily diet?Glenys Zucco
: Consuming three serves of dairy foods (such as milk, cheese and yogurt) as part of a healthy, balanced diet will provide most Australians with their daily requirement for calcium.
A serve is equal to:
1 glass (250mL) milk, or
1 tub (200g) yogurt, or
2 slices (40g) cheese
As well as calcium, dairy foods provide a number of other important nutrients - including protein, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc - that are needed for bone development and maintenance.Question:
Is it more information for women to have a high calcium diet than men?Glenys Zucco
: Osteoporosis is not just a women's disease, in fact one in three men in Australia over the age of sixty will suffer a fracture due to osteoporosis. Following menopause, women begin to lose bone rapidly, but by the age of 65 both men and women lose bone at the same rate. It is important for both men and women to be aware of their bone health and include calcium-rich foods in their diet.
Calcium is an essential nutrient for everyone. Most adults have an RDI of 1,000mg of calcium daily. This is the amount of calcium supplied by a diet containing three serves of dairy foods each day. But teenagers, women over 50 and men over 70 have an RDI of 1,300mg daily. Question:
What happens if we have a low calcium intake? Glenys Zucco
: Bones act as a storage bank for calcium. If your dietary intake of calcium is low, your body will take calcium from the bones to use for other important functions. A long term lack of dietary calcium can lead to a greater risk of osteoporosis - or weak, fragile bones. This is why it is so crucial to have a daily supply of calcium-rich foods throughout life.
Osteoporosis is a serious disease with debilitating consequences. Osteoporosis is sometimes called a 'silent disease' because bone loss is often gradual with no warning signs or symptoms until the disease is advanced and a fracture occurs. The health implications of this disease can be chronic pain, loss of mobility and hospital admissions. In some cases, osteoporosis can be life-threatening.Question:
How does a lack of calcium affect a teenager?Glenys Zucco
: Calcium intake during the teen years is critical because that's when most bone mass is built - it's a small window of opportunity for teenagers to lay down enough bone to carry them through life.
Most of the adult skeleton is formed by the age of 18, with the amount of calcium in bones peaking in our mid 20.
From about the age of 35 years, bones start to lose calcium faster than they store it - so they gradually lose their strength. The more calcium that's deposited in the bones during childhood and adolescence, the stronger bones will be in later life.Question:
How can we incorporate three serves of dairy into their daily diets?Glenys Zucco
: The easiest way to ensure you and your family are meeting your calcium requirements is to include dairy at each meal.
Breakfast time is an easy opportunity for the whole family to include milk with cereal, or dollop yogurt on fresh fruit.
For the lunch box - pack a tub of yogurt or include cheese in sandwiches or wraps.
For an afternoon snack, yogurt, cheese or a glass of flavoured milk is a filling snack that will keep you going until dinner.
And for dinner - the options are endless - throw some cheese through your pasta dishes or on pizzas, use natural yogurt in Mexican, add cheese to your mash potatoes or make a low-fat creamy curry with evaporated milk.
And if all else fails - a nice warm glass of milk with honey before bed has been shown to help aid sleep!
A focus on breakfast:
Breakfast is an ideal opportunity to kick off your calcium quota by ensuring you have at least one of the recommended three daily serves of dairy foods. However, almost 40% of Australian teenagers do not have breakfast every day.*
A new Australian study which showed participants who skipped breakfast were less likely to meet the dietary recommendations for dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt, which are the major contributors of calcium to the diet.**
National Healthy Bones Week is an ideal opportunity to make dairy a breakfast habit. Whether it's milk and yogurt in a smoothie or cereal, or reduced-fat cheese melted on an English muffin, start the day with dairy and get the first of the three recommended serves of dairy every day.Question:
How does having breakfast help us maintain a healthy weight?Glenys Zucco
: Breakfast provides the first fuel of the day, kick starting your body to get it set for peak performance all morning. A growing body of research indicates that eating breakfast is a successful strategy for lasting weight loss. Some studies have found that people who skip breakfast eat more kilojoules through the course of the day compared to those who don't - leading to more weight gain.***Question:
How does skim milk compare to fruit juice?Glenys Zucco
: Australian research suggests that switching fruit juice for skim milk with breakfast might help keep those extra kilograms off. The study found that drinking a glass of milk with your cereal or toast leaves you less hungry at lunchtime than a morning juice drink, causing you to eat fewer kilojoules.****
Skim milk and juice had the same energy content but the higher protein and calcium content of milk gave it extra benefits.
Milk and dairy foods contains quality proteins that can improve satiety and lead improve lean muscle mass.
And nutrition scientists have suggested that dairy calcium may accelerate weight loss by decreasing the amount of fat you absorb.Question:
How does the National Healthy Bones Week work to encourage Australians to consume more dairy? Glenys Zucco
: Most people don't think about their bones until they have a fracture or until they are older. But we need to look after our bones from the day we are born, right through to old age. National Healthy Bones Week encourages Australians to think about their bone health and take active steps to prevent osteoporosis.
Through NHBW we hope to raise awareness of the importance of bone health and educate Australians about preventing osteoporosis through a healthy lifestyle at all ages. We want to highlight that along with getting enough vitamin D and exercise, one of the best things everyone can do for their bones is eat enough calcium-rich foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt.
In 2011 National Healthy Bones Week will focus on the importance of a calcium-rich breakfast for bone health. This follows a new Australian study which showed children who skipped breakfast were less likely to meet the dietary recommendations for dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt, which are the major contributors of calcium to the diet.
Interview by Brooke Hunter
*Dairy Usage & Attitude Study' conducted by Roy Morgan in May 2007 across 5 major capital cities Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth
**Smith, K. et al 2010 'Skipping breakfast: longitudinal association with cardiometabolic risk factors in the Childhood Determinants of Adult health Study' AJCN 92: 1316-25
***Farshchi HR, Taylor MA, Macdonald IA. Deleterious effects of omitting breakfast on insulin sensitivity and fasting lipid profiles in healthy lean women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Feb;81(2):388-96
****Dove, ER, Hodgson JM, Puddey IB, Beilin LJ, Lee YP, Mori TA. Skim milk compared with a fruit drink acutely reduces appetite and energy intake in overweight men and women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2009;90:70-75