In a recent survey conducted among Malaysians aged 40 to 59 years, it was found that 95% of respondents are concerned about their bone health and how it may affect their strength and mobility when they are older. The top three contributing factors they cited for their concerns are lack of exercise, insufficient exposure to sunlight (for production of vitamin D in the body to aid calcium absorption), and avoiding dairy products (which are daily sources of calcium) in their diet.
Findings from the survey also indicated, while middle-aged Malaysians understand the importance of having strong bones, 42% say their current focus is to protect themselves from getting COVID-19; and 33% say they are already doing their best for their health including bone health.
The survey was initiated by Anlene, Malaysia’s No. 1 Adult Milk Powder* and an advocate of strong bones, joints and muscles through good nutrition coupled with an active lifestyle. It was conducted blindly earlier in August among 320 middle-aged respondents to gain insights into their awareness of and viewpoint towards bone care and health in general.
“From their responses, we found there are still gaps in their understanding of bone health, especially when it comes to areas of bone care and whether they are doing enough to support their bones, which work together with joints and muscles to help us move and live our daily lives,” said Puan Megawati Suzari, Director of New Product Development, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs at Fonterra Brands Malaysia.
To help Malaysians understand bone health better and to encourage them to pay more attention to care for their bones, Anlene is launching an educational campaign in conjunction with World Osteoporosis Day 2021, which falls on 20 October annually. The campaign will highlight how our bones may start to deteriorate after they reach peak bone mass at about the age of 30 , which makes it necessary for everyone to make lifestyle interventions to help slow down this process, so our bones can continue to support an active lifestyle with good mobility into the silver years .
Megawati advised: “Malaysian adults can take care of their bone health by doing regular exercises to help build muscles and maintain strong bones; and eating a balanced diet that contains important nutrients, such as calcium, vitamin D and protein. Maintaining body weight within a normal range of body mass index is also important, as being underweight (Body Mass Index of less than 19kg/m2) may affect our bones.
Interestingly, Anlene’s survey also found that 30% of the respondents do not know how much calcium and vitamin D to take daily; and only 30% of the respondents drink milk every day.
To this, Megawati further explained: “Adults are advised to consume 1000 – 1200mg of calcium and 15 – 20mcg of vitamin D in a day, as part of their daily bone care routine. However, many are not aware that, in a typical diet that is lacking in calcium rich foods, it may be difficult for us to meet our daily calcium needs. For example, we may need to consume 200 – 240 bowls of cooked rice to get all the daily calcium we need.
Hence, identifying and consuming calcium rich food sources are important part of a balanced diet. In fact, calcium can be found in food sources such as milk, leafy green vegetables, anchovies, soy products or other calcium fortified products. While vitamin D can be found in fatty fish (e.g. salmon, sardine), egg yolk and vitamin D fortified products including milk.”
She added: “As such, we encourage all adults to make smart food choices and consume a balanced diet which consist of milk. Milk products that contains key nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D and protein can help to meet their daily nutritional needs”.
For example, each glass of Anlene™ milk comes with key nutrients that are important to support adults’ daily nutritional needs. The ACTIFIT 3X™ range comes with high calcium, high protein, collagen, and vitamins B2, B6, B12, C, D, and E. While Anlene™ GOLD 5X™ is scientifically formulated for adults aged 45 years and above, with key nutrients as above, plus MFGM Active™, that provides milk fat globule membrane. It also has no added sugars.
Recent study shows that participants who consumed 2 glasses of milk added with MFGM (Milk Fat Globule Membrane) and important nutrients plus regular exercises everyday, had 2 times the improvement in flexibility, 3 times the improvement in balance and 40% more improvement in muscle mass compared to control.
Speaking in a TV talk show as part of Anlene’s World Osteoporosis Day campaign, Associate Professor Dr Nor Faissal Yasin, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, University Malaya Medical Centre and UM Specialist Centre, advised Malaysian adults to look at risks of developing bone related diseases, such as osteoporosis which may affect nearly 1 in 4 Malaysian adults (mostly women) aged 50 years and above .
“Osteoporosis is a silent disease which is often diagnosed when a fragility fracture occurs, commonly in the wrist, hip or back bones. Its risk factors include a diet low in calcium and vitamin D, lack of physical activity, underweight, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, advanced age, as well as family history,” said Dr Nor Faissal.
“Middle-aged adults should take bone care seriously. Prevention of getting osteoporosis is a lifelong journey, which can be started by adopting good lifestyle habits including good dietary practices and stay physically active by moving more throughout the day. Besides, Malaysians 60 years and above are also recommended to consult a healthcare professional to assess their bone health annually,” he advised.
As strong bones are one of the foundations to support mobility, find out what is your Move Age by assessing your posture, strength, flexibility and balance with the Anlene Move Check online quiz https://movecheckquiz.anlene.net.my/ .