Consumers who visit supermarkets and other stores will be able to benefit from the service with actions already underway in Argentina, Brazil, China, Indonesia and the Philippines.
“The new partnership aims to help increase awareness about the ‘silent epidemic’ of osteoporosis,” said Emma Jacquier, nutrition and science manager at the Dairy Strategic Business Unit at Nestlé.
“Staying in good health at a low cost is becoming vitally important for the public, governments and businesses as the world’s population ages.”
IOF COO Judy Stenmark previously said on the subject: “When it comes to healthy bones and muscles, IOF recommends a basic set of measures that will lower the risk of osteoporosis-related falls and fractures.”
“Ensure that you’re following a healthy, calcium and protein rich diet, getting sufficient vitamin D through safe exposure to sunlight or supplementation, if required. Make sure you're doing regular weight-bearing and strengthening exercise to work out your bones and muscles and to improve your balance."
“It is also important to stop smoking and excessive alcohol intake, and to maintain a healthy body weight – these three factors impact negatively on bone health.”
The partnership plans other activities later in the year that will coincide with World Osteoporosis Day in October.
Vitamin D reader
Vitamin D refers to two biologically inactive precursors - D3, also known as cholecalciferol, and D2, also known as ergocalciferol. The former is produced in the skin on exposure to UVB radiation (290 to 320 nm). The latter is derived from plants and only enters the body via the diet.
Both D3 and D2 precursors are hydroxylated in the liver and kidneys to form 25- hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), the non-active 'storage' form, and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D), the biologically active form that is tightly controlled by the body.
While our bodies do manufacture vitamin D on exposure to sunshine, the levels in some northern countries are so weak during the winter months that our body makes no vitamin D at all, meaning that dietary supplements and fortified foods are seen by many as the best way to boost intakes of vitamin D.
Nestlé is not new to osteoporosis issues. In 2011 it led a vitamin D deficiency study among Australian office workers which found one in three were vitamin D deficient – even in summer – due to a lack of sun exposure.
Other research has shown Asian populations avoid the sun because of a cosmetic trend to keep skin as light a shade as possible.
IOF statistics show osteoporosis affects about one in three women over the age of 50. About 200m women are affected worldwide, but men are also affected.