96% of older adults not consuming enough dairy

The Department of Health recommend consuming 3 or more portions of dairy a day

96% of adults over 60 years are not consuming the Department of Health recommended guidelines of three or more dairy servings per day, according to a new study.

On average, men and women had a little over 1 portion of dairy per day, with men consuming fewer total dairy portions than women.

Lead author of the study Dr Eamon Laird said: “We found it significant that intakes of dairy rich foods were generally inadequate, and particularly so in men.

"The data suggests that older adults appear to be missing out on a relatively healthy and easily available source of vitamins and micro-nutrients."

The largest study of its kind in the country found a link between daily dairy consumption and levels of a range of vitamins in older adults. Men and women both consumed more cheese than milk and continued to do so even as they aged, regardless of gender

Yoghurt makes a significant contribution to the vitamin B and vitamin D status of the older adults. Cheese was not found to affect the blood concentrations of micro-nutrients of those tested.

"We are concerned that this study shows 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," senior investigator of the study Professor Anne Molloy said.

The paper is available here.

The Department of Health did not immediately respond for comment.