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Study says most Filipinos have low calcium intake

TAGUIG CITY, METRO MANILA (loQal.ph) According to the results of the 7th National Nutrition Survey (NNS), majority of Filipinos do not meet their daily calcium intake requirement. This may perhaps have them prone to bone-related diseases, such as osteoporosis.

The study shows that children six to twelve years old consume only an average 0.26 grams of calcium daily, the lowest among the age groups. It further reveals that calcium is the least-consumed nutrient in the typical Filipino diet.

In contrast to the children, pregnant women had the highest amount of daily calcium intake. In general, the estimated average recommendation for calcium intake was not met, and was present in only very little proportions.

Among the common foods that are considered as calcium sources such as milk and milk products, fish was revealed to be the primary source of calcium in the Filipino diet. Though milk was one of the primary calcium sources among the diet and is considered as an excellent source of it, it was considered poor except in infants according to Dr. Rodolfo Florentino, chairman and President of the Nutrition Foundation of the Philippines (NFP).

Calcium is considered essential in the overall maintenance of body health. It is essential in various body processes, such as bone construction, blood clotting, muscle contractions and wound healing.

Requirements for the mineral differ according to age and gender. As stated in the Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intakes (RENI) developed by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), male and female Filipino adults in the age range of 19 to 64 years old need an average of 750 milligrams of daily calcium. The older age groups ranging 65 years old and above need more calcium intake, at a recommended 800 milligrams daily.

It is advised to promote the adequate intake of calcium daily in order to meet the recommended intake amounts, especially for infants and young children.

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