Over-60s miss out on dairy health bonus
Published 30/11/2016 | 02:30
Nearly all Irish adults over 60 are not getting the recommended three or more servings of dairy products a day, a new study reveals today.
The study led by Trinity College Dublin, which involved over 4,300 people, found that consuming dairy and yoghurt in particular makes a significant contribution to the vitamin B and vitamin D status of the older adults.
Dairy products can include milk, yogurt and cheese.
On average, men and women had a little over one portion of dairy a day with men consuming fewer.
Those who ate the most dairy, including cheese, also had the lowest BMI.
Men and women consumed more cheese than milk and continued to do so even as they aged.
As few as 3.5pc of those studied were getting the three or more servings of dairy a day, according to the research.
Lead author of the study and research fellow at the Centre for Medical Gerontology at Trinity, Dr Eamon Laird, said: "We found it significant that intakes of dairy rich foods were generally inadequate, and particularly so in men.
"Increased intakes of dairy foods were linked with better micronutrient status.
"And those with the highest intakes of dairy (including milk, yogurt and cheese) had the lowest, (within the normal range), of BMI, a proxy for body fatness.
"The data suggests that older adults appear to be missing out on a relatively healthy and easily available source of vitamins and micro-nutrients."
Professor Anne Molloy, of the Department of Clinical Medicine at Trinity, said: "We are concerned that older Irish people are foregoing an opportunity to boost their intake of specific nutrients including B-vitamins, which can play an important role in healthy ageing."