Men’s Health Month: Spotlight on Bone Health

Since June is Men’s Health Month, it’s a good opportunity for the nutrition and health communities to help bring awareness to the nutrition and health topics that are important for men, along with the resources that are available. In addition to educating men on the health topics that we normally associate with males, there are topics that have been traditionally associated with women that we should also be discussing with men. For example, bone health has a strong impact on men, and educating men on bone health is needed. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), the estimated lifetime risk of experiencing a bone fracture for men over the age of 50 is up to 27%. The IOF estimates that 52 million men in the U.S. ages 50 and above will be affected by poor bone health.1

Although adult men over the age of the 20, tend to consume adequate amounts of calcium, they do tend to fall short of the DRI for vitamin D. According to What We Eat in America, NHANES, a national food survey conducted as a partnership between the USDA and the DHHS, men ages 20 and over consume only slightly more than half of their vitamin D requirements. Average intake is 5.5 mcg of vitamin D per day2 versus the Estimated Average Requirement for men 19 and above of 10 mcg per day.3 Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and helps maintain strong bones.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation suggests changes in diet can play a critical role in building and maintaining good bone health as well as slowing bone loss. Getting enough calcium is, of course, important for building and maintaining strong bones. But vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption. Higher yogurt intake, in particular, can contribute to an increase in these vital nutrients. 4 On average, a 6-ounce serving of fat-free or low-fat yogurt can contribute up to 30% of the daily calcium requirement and 42% of vitamin D.5

In looking to the future, it’s important for men to take proactive measures to ensure they’re effectively building bone strength and making decisions that positively impact their overall health. Because of the wide array of health issues that affect men, health screenings are one of the key initiatives for Men’s Health Month. The month will be celebrated across the country with health fairs, media appearances, and various education and outreach activities.


Miguel Freitas, Ph.D.
Vice President, Scientific Affairs

1 Facts and Statistics. Facts and category-14. Accessed June 2, 2017. Statistics | International Osteoporosis Foundation. https://www.iofbonehealth.org/factsstatistics#

2 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Food Surveys Research Group (Beltsville, MD) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics (Hyattsville, MD). What We Eat in America, NHANES 2013-2014, Table 1, Nutrient Intakes from Food and Beverages, https://www.ars.usda.gov/ARSUserFiles/80400530/pdf/1314/Table_1_NIN_GEN_13.pdf Accessed June 14, 2017.

3 Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Estimated Average Requirements, Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academies, 4 National Osteoporosis Foundation, Calcium/Vitamin D. https://www.nof.org /patients/treatment/calciumvitamin-d/ Accessed June 20, 2017.

5 National Institutes of Health, Calcium. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/CalciumHealthProfessional/ Accessed June 23, 2017.

Consumer Confusion Causing Doubt in Food Choices, IFIC Survey Says

TConflicting information about nutrition, food and what products consumers may want to consider eating or avoiding is making people doubt the choices they make, according to the International Food Information Council Foundation’s (IFIC) 2017 Food and Health Survey

In the new survey, 80 percent of consumers said they encounter a lot of conflicting information about what to eat and what to avoid, with more than half of those saying the conflicting information makes them doubt their food choices. For example, one-third of Americans (up a quarter from 2016) think sugars are most likely to cause weight gain, yet they are divided in their opinions on sweeteners and added sugars, with six in 10 viewing added sugars negatively.

How food is produced, where it comes from and perceived corporate values are large influencers on consumers’ food decisions. And while many Americans want health benefits from food, the survey also found consumers struggle to understand which foods are associated with specific benefits, which is at least partially fueled by the abundance of conflicting nutrition information. For example, 60 percent could not name a food or nutrient that helps with weight management.6

Study Examines Intake of Shortfall Nutrients Along Poverty Lines in the US
A large proportion of US adults have micronutrient intakes below the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR), and adults at the highest adjusted income have higher micronutrient intakes and lower risk of inadequacy than those with lower incomes according to a recent examination of shortfall nutrient intakes, including calcium, folate, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A,C,D and E, by poverty-toincome ratio (PIR). The proportion of Americans living in poverty in the US increased from 12.2% in 2000 to 14.8% in 2014, and this study examined micronutrient intakes by poverty-to-income ratio (PIR) among US adults, using data from the most recent 2011–2012 NHANES.7

6 2017 Food and Health Survey, International Food Information Council Foundation,http://www.foodinsight.org
. Accessed June 2, 2017. 7 Bailey, Regan L., PhD, MPH, RD, Sharon R. Akabas, PhD, Erin E. Paxson, MS, Sowmyanarayanan V. Thuppal, MD, PhD, Shilpa Saklani, MS, and Katherine L. Tucker, PhD, Total Usual Intake of Shortfall Nutrients Varies with Poverty Among US Adults, Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2017. In press. doi.org/10.1016 /j.jneb.2016.11.008

USDA Releases New Meal Pattern Training Tools to Help Guide Healthy Eating Patterns
The United States Department of Agriculture has released new meal pattern training tools to help Child and Adult Care Program (CACFP) providers and operators implement the new CACFP meal pattern requirements, which will go into effect October 1, 2017. The new CACFP nutrition standards call for a greater variety of vegetables, more whole grains and less added sugar and saturated fat. Among the tools is a yogurt worksheet that helps users chose yogurts that meet CACFP guidance for sugar.

Get Your Nutrients from Dairy during National Dairy Month June is National Dairy Month, which celebrates the contributions all forms of dairy make to the diet. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, dairy may help manage weight and reduce the risk of high blood pressure, osteoporosis and certain cancers. To help celebrate National Dairy Month, the United States Department of Agriculture is sharing calcium and bone health fact sheets, dairy recipes and MyPlate recommendations. Visit the National Dairy Council for other helpful articles and resources on the health benefits of dairy products.