NOS found that 70% of 18–35 year-olds are currently – or have been – on a diet, with 20% of them cutting or significantly reducing the number of dairy products they consumed.
The most common trend for under 25s was ‘clean eating’ – which can see dieters remove whole food groups from their diets – sparked by a growing number of diet and nutrition bloggers on social media, claimed NOS.
Dairy products contain a high source of calcium and vitamin D, which is crucial for building healthy bones – especially in early adulthood – said the organisation.
Professor Susan Lanham-New, clinical advisor to the National Osteoporosis Society, said: “Diet in early adulthood is so important because by the time we get into our late twenties it is too late to reverse the damage caused by poor diet and nutrient deficiencies and the opportunity to build strong bones has passed.”
‘Too late to reverse the damage’
A vitamin D deficiency can lead to the condition osteoporosis, where bones become fragile and break easily.
“Without urgent action being taken to encourage young adults to incorporate all food groups into their diets and avoid particular ‘clean eating’ regimes, we are facing a future where broken bones will become just the ‘norm’,” added Lanham-New.
Cow’s milk contains one of the highest sources of calcium, but not enough children are drinking it, claimed food packaging firm Tetra Pak.
Almost a third (35%) of 6–8 year-olds and 65% of 9–11 year-olds are not drinking milk at school despite poor oral health, high child obesity levels and poor hydration, according to Tetra Pak’s Making More of Milk report.
The report found that over a quarter of parents (28%) said the main reason their children were not drinking milk in school was because they were unaware their children were eligible for free or subsided milk.
‘Key part of our children’s daily diet’
Tetra Pak north west Europe md Stefan Fageräng said: “Children need a healthy balanced diet and as milk is a rich source of protein, calcium, vitamin B12 and iodine, it is – and should continue to be – a key part of our children’s daily diet for a healthier future.
“School milk needs to be safeguarded and policy best practice shared across different parts of the UK to encourage greater uptake.”
Meanwhile, the reputation of dairy products have been damaged by news that was biased, misrepresented facts or had been completely fabricated, according to The Dairy council.
Communities and content manager Gary Cosby said: “It’s even more crucial in this era of fake news and misinformation that the science and evidence-base on dairy is communicated through The Dairy Council’s social media outlets.
“The public are being overwhelmed with stories based on the opinion of non-experts and we must ensure that reliable and trustworthy information is out there about dairy, health and nutrition.”
NOS clinical director Fizz Thompson said vitamin D presented itself as a marketing opportunity for food and drink manufacturers.
“Initiatives to do more to raise awareness about the foods high in vitamin D would be welcome, as would a push to improve food labelling to highlight vitamin D levels to help people achieve their daily recommended nutrient intake,” she said.