The risk for developing osteoporosis depends on many factors, including your level of physical activity, your diet, age, hormone levels and genetics.

All of these factors can themselves be influenced by your culture and ethnicity. Caucasian and Asian women are at higher risk than those of African, American and Hispanic descent.

In fact, for most women over 50 years of age, the precursor to osteoporosis called osteopenia is common. As Australian culture diversifies, considerations for disease risk take on a different perspective. For example, certain ethnic groups have a fundamentally higher bone mineral density, making them less susceptible to this disease.

A diet low in calcium and vitamin D increases the risk for osteoporosis, and certain people regularly eat less of these foods. Physical activity is important for reducing the risk of osteoporosis since weight-bearing exercise like walking, running or dancing, actually strengthens bones.

Different hormonal status amongst ethnic groups, especially during puberty, contributes to differences in risk. Regardless of these ethnic considerations, we do know that regular intake of high-calcium foods like diary, soft-boned fish like sardines, salmon and tuna, and adequate vitamin D intake allow for better bone health and structural support.

And don’t forget to include sunshine!

Questions:

  • Is osteoporosis inevitable?
  • Won’t foods like full-fat dairy increase weight?
  • Do calcium supplements work?
  • Sunshine or vitamin D supplement – what is better?

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