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Are you getting enough calcium?

Are you getting enough calcium?

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A new report finds our calcium intake to be lacking.

Australians need more calcium

In a joint first between the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), estimates of Australians' usual intake of nutrients have been produced and calcium is found to be lacking.

 "The results show that only one in four females and one in two males met their calcium requirements from food" said Wendy Davis from the ABS.


What it is

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. Its main function is to build and maintain strong, healthy bones.

A low calcium intake is associated with osteoporosis, a low bone density condition.

Where to get it

Calcium containing foods include dairy products, fortified soy products, broccoli, bok choy, fish with bones- such as salmon and sardines.

How much calcium do you need?

The recommended daily intake (RDI) of calcium for women is 1,000 mg a day. This increases to 1,300 mg a day after menopause.

For men, the RDI is 1,000 mg day

Q & A: Get the answers to your most common questions about calcium supplementation

Women found to be lacking in iron

The report also found that many women are not getting an adequate intake of iron.

"Iron is another important nutrient for which females have higher requirements in many age groups.

"One in four females had inadequate iron intakes compared to only one in thirty males."


What it is

Iron is an essential mineral and an important component of proteins, such as haemoglobin, involved in oxygen transport and metabolism.

Low iron intakes can lead to fatigue, tiredness and decreased immunity.

GET THE FACTS: What you need to know about iron

Where to get it

Iron containing foods include lean red meat, poultry, fish, oysters, dried fruit, legumes, beetroot, whole grains and tofu.

How much iron do you need?

The RDI for women is 18 mg a day. This increases to 27 mg a day during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

For men, the RDI is 8 mg per day

Further information is available in Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes (cat. no. 4364.0.55.008) available for free download from the ABS website

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)