Today we are going to present you countries with highest dairy consumption and low osteoporosis rates while trying to answer some questions about links between osteoporosis and consumption of dairy products that have caused a lot of debate recently.
There has been growing body of claims that milk increases a risk of osteoporosis – medical condition that causes bone weakening so even mild stress can lead to fractures. One of the main arguments is that countries with highest milk consumption are also countries that have highest osteoporosis rates. If you look at Kazakhstan that has one of the highest prevalence of hip fractures in the world (651.1 fractures per 100,000) and where 258.44 kg (liters) of milk is consumed annually per capita, you might conclude – yes, milk is bad for the bones.
Moreover, 12-years long Harvard study about osteoporosis found out that 78,000 women who drink three glasses of milk per day suffered more bone fractures compared to those that consumed milk seldom. However, as another article coming from Harvard University points out – it is hard to determine whether there is a correlation between osteoporosis and dairy consumption. What scientists know so far is that calcium, which is found in dairy products, is necessary for developing and maintaining strong bones. Still, there is a lot of debate how much calcium adults need. Different studies have shown that taking high amounts of calcium whether through food or supplements does not lower risk of osteoporosis. Moreover, some scientists even suggest that excessive intake of calcium can increase the risk of prostate cancer. At the same time, dairy products can be bad for you. For instance, researchers determined that women who drink three glasses of milk per day have 50% higher chances of developing cardiovascular disease and 44% higher risk of cancer compared to those who drink less milk. Other studies have also pointed out that high amounts of lactose increase the risk of ovarian cancer.
With all these information it is no wonder that many parents have doubts whether there is some truth in so-called calcium and osteoporosis myth which is a reason why we created the list of healthiest milk and milk alternatives for toddlers and kids. While we wait for researchers to come up with definite conclusions about milk and cheese influence on our health, it seems that best thing we can do is to consummate dairy products moderately.
To create the list of countries with highest dairy consumption and low osteoporosis rates we first determined which countries use the most dairy products. Relying on data found at the website of Food and Agricultural Organization of United Nations (FAO) we ranked countries by consumption of milk, cheese, and butter. Then we followed the advice of World Health Organization which says that it is hard to determine the prevalence of osteoporosis worldwide, so the best way to compare osteoporosis prevalence between countries is to rely on fracture rates. We used data from International Osteoporosis Foundation to discover hip fracture rates by countries and thus determine countries with low rates of osteoporosis. Finally, we compared these two rankings to come up with this list of countries with highest dairy consumption and low osteoporosis rates. If you want to find out more about biggest milk consumers as well as places where is osteoporosis most common you can check our previous rankings of countries that consume the most milk and countries with highest rates of osteoporosis in the world.
Milk consumption: 74.68 kg
Cheese consumption: 2.23 kg
Butter consumption: 0.46 kg
Hip fractures incidents: 173 per 100,000
We are starting our list of countries with highest dairy consumption and low osteoporosis rates. with Mexico – the country which has relatively low dairy consumption per capita compared to other places included in this ranking. Still, the amount of 77.27 kg of milk, cheese and butter combined which a Mexican consumes yearly is pretty high in comparison to the majority of other places worldwide. At the same time with 173 hip fractures per 100,000 Mexico falls into the category of countries with moderate risk of fractures. This might change in the future as International Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that a number of hip fracture cases will reach 110,055 in 2050, which is 431% increase compared to 21,000 fractures in 2005.
Milk consumption: 81.06 kg
Cheese consumption: 15.1 kg
Butter consumption: 2.51 kg
Hip fractures incidents: 216 per 100,000
With 15.1 kg of cheese eaten annually per capita, Lithuania ranks as one of the greatest cheese consumers in the world. Other dairy products are also consumed in large amounts in the country. Prevalence of osteoporosis in Lithuania is the highest among countries on our list. Still, according to IOF, there is the moderate risk of fractures in Lithuania. One of the main problems the country will experience in the future is aging population (54% of the population will be 50 and older by 2050) which will undoubtedly affect osteoporosis rates.
Milk consumption: 89.5 kg
Cheese consumption: 17.33 kg
Butter consumption: 0.84 kg
Hip fractures incidents: 201 per 100,000
Israel is only Asian country on this list of countries with highest dairy consumption and low osteoporosis rates. Like previously mentioned Lithuania Israel is a great cheese consumer. Israelis also like milk while butter is eaten in smaller quantities. With 201 hip fractures per 100,000 Israel belongs to the group of places with moderate fracture risk. Recent study “Osteoporosis: A Future Public Health Problem for Israel?” notices that refugees and immigrants coming from Africa might be an especially vulnerable group to osteoporosis in Israel due to malnutrition.
Milk consumption: 84.31 kg
Cheese consumption: 8.93 kg
Butter consumption: 0.74 kg
Hip fractures incidents: 164 per 100,000
Compared to previously mentioned Israel, in Spain people eat smaller amounts of dairy products – a Spanish resident consumes 93.98 kg of milk, cheese, and butter per year. At the same time, Spain has a smaller number of hip fracture incidents. According to IOF, there are 164 hip bone raptures per 100,000, which means that country has the medium risk of fracture incidents. Note though, that other sources which measure hip fracture cases per the number of the elderly estimate that there are 517 hip fracture incidents per 100,000 older Spanish residents. Unfortunately, this number is going to increase as the nation is getting older.
Milk consumption: 73.17 kg
Cheese consumption: 0.88 kg
Butter consumption: 0.64 kg
Hip fractures incidents: 50 hip fractures per 100,000
We are continuing our list of countries with highest dairy consumption and low osteoporosis rates with Tunisia that has the lowest number of hip fracture incidents per 100,000 among here mentioned places. The reason why Tunisia does not occupy a higher place on this list is lower consumption of dairy products compared to other ranked countries. This African country also has a relatively young population which means that number of patients suffering from osteoporosis will not dramatically rise in the future.
Milk consumption: 113.76 kg
Cheese consumption: 10.4 kg
Butter consumption: 1.19 kg
Hip fractures incidents: 157 hip fractures per 100,000
Croatia, which ranks as seventh on the list of countries with highest dairy consumption and low osteoporosis rates., does not have the registry of osteoporotic fractures. IOF estimates that there are 157 hip raptures per 100,000 in the country, which is the sixth lowest number among here mentioned places. Other studies suggest that Croatia has a similar rate of osteoporosis as other European countries while there are around 167,000 people older than 50 years who suffer vertebral fractures. With 125.35 kg of dairy products consumed per capita yearly, Croatia is 25th largest dairy products consumer.
Milk consumption: 99.26 kg
Cheese consumption: 1.24 kg
Butter consumption: 0.43 kg
Hip fractures incidents: 104 hip fractures per 100,000
Here comes the country where the risk of hip fractures is low – IOF estimates that there are 104 broken hips per 100,000 in Colombia. At the same time, the study published in 2013, notes that there were 7.902 hip fracture cases in 2010 in Colombia. The same study also predicts that the number of broken hips will reach 22,720 in 2035. Consumption of dairy products in Colombia is high as 100.93 kg of milk, cheese and butter are eaten per capita annually.
Milk consumption: 115.6 kg
Cheese consumption: 2.76 kg
Butter consumption: 0.28
Hip fractures incidents: 139 per 100,000
Serbs like to drink milk. With 115.6 kg of white liquid drank annually per capita, the country is 22th largest milk consumer in the world. Serbia also has a low risk of hip fractures. According to IOF, there are 139 broken hips per 100,000 while other studies suggest that the number might be even lower (51 of mean annual incidence per 100,000 adults).
Milk consumption: 150.34 kg
Cheese consumption: 5.22 kg
Butter consumption: 1.28 kg
Hip fractures incidents: 188 per 100,000
With 188 hip fractures incidents per 100,000 people, there is a medium risk of osteoporosis in Netherlands, the country which is one of the greatest consumers of milk products in Europe. According to one analysis, 32% of all fractures in the Netherlands in 2010 were a consequence of osteoporosis. The same study predicts that osteoporosis-related fractures will increase by 40% by 2030 while health care costs for osteoporosis-related fractures will grow by 50% reaching 300 million Euros in 2030.
Milk consumption: 92.08 kg
Cheese consumption: 6.19 kg
Butter consumption: 0.15
Hip fractures incidents: 55 per 100,000
Ecuador has one of the smallest numbers of hip fracture incidents on this list of countries with highest dairy consumption and low osteoporosis rates. Like in other parts of the world people between 50 and 60 years as well as those older than 80 are at the greatest risk of developing osteoporosis. At the same time, compared to other ranked places Ecuador has lower but still relatively high consumption of milk products.
Milk consumption: 202.62 kg
Cheese consumption: 5.22 kg
Butter consumption: 0.66 kg
Hip fractures incidents: 172 per 100.00
Around 34% of people living in Romania is 50 years and older. By 2050, more than a half of population will be over 50, which will also bring a significant increase in the number of osteoporotic patients. Currently, Romania belongs to the group of countries with medium risk of osteoporosis. According to IOF, there were 18,400 hip fractures in 2009.
Milk consumption: 141.42 kg
Cheese consumption: 0.37 kg
Butter consumption: 0.49 kg
Hip fractures incidents: 141 per 100,000
According to IOF, Brazil belongs to the group of countries with low risk of hip fractures while at the same time Brazilians are one of the greatest milk consumers in the world. For these two reasons, Brazil ranks as first on our list of countries with highest dairy consumption and low osteoporosis rates.