Dairy Council Northern Ireland

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Nutrition

Nutrients in milk

Adolescence

The table below shows the amount of calcium required by adolescents, as well as suggested ways dairy foods can help to meet the increased needs:

 

11–18 years Male 

Calcium needs mg/d 1000

Portion suggestion providing about 1002g of calcium

  • 250ml semi–skimmed milk
  • 250g pot of low–fat yogurt
  • 45g of cheese

11–18 years Female

Calcium needs mg/d 800

Portion suggestion providing about 842g of calcium

  • 200ml semi–skimmed milk
  • 200g pot of low–fat yogurt
  • 30g of cheese

 

The benefits of dairy products for adolescents

  • During adolescence (from eleven years of age onwards) requirements for many nutrients, including calcium, are increased.
  • Adolescence is a particularly important period for the development of lifelong bone health
  • The reason for the increased calcium need is that during this time, adolescents will experience rapid growth as bones begin to grow in length and strengthen. It is estimated for example, that almost 90% of a person’s bone strength will have been achieved by the age of 18, highlighting the importance of adopting a balanced diet, including calcium–rich foods in the lead up to adulthood
  • Unfortunately, many teenagers, particularly girls, are short of calcium. The latest National Diet and Nutrition Survey (1) reported that 19% of 11– to 18–year–olds are not getting the calcium they need. Some teenage boys (12%) are also missing out
  • Dairy products are an important means of providing this age group with nutrients such as calcium which they need to support development and growth
  • They will also contribute towards meeting other increased nutrient requirements. Cheese, for example, provides phosphorus which is needed for energy release, and milk can help towards meeting increased needs for vitamins such as vitamin B2 and vitamin B12
  • A diet which provides the nutrients required for good bone health during adolescence can be one of the important parts of determining the state of a person’s bones later in life

Why not check out the recipe section to find some tasty ways to get your calcium requirements?

Reference
  1. (1) National Diet and Nutrition Survey. National Diet and Nutrition Survey Results from Years 5 and 6 (combined) of the Rolling Programme (2012/2013 – 2013/2014). Public Health England and Food Standards Agency, 2016.

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