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Calcium is a mineral required for the growth and maintenance of the bones and teeth, as well as the proper functioning of the muscular and cardiovascular systems. Milk, milk-based foods and fortified dairy substitutes are the richest sources of calcium, although it is also found in smaller amounts in sardines and other bony fish, legumes and certain nuts.1
In 2011-12, the daily amount of calcium consumed from foods and beverages averaged 865 mg among males and 745 mg among females. Between the ages of 12 and 18 years where the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) is 1,050 mg per day, both males and females this age had average intakes below this amount based on their reported foods and beverages. Females in each older age groups also had average intakes of calcium less than the respective EARs, as did males aged 51-70 and 71 years and over see Table 1.1.
Milk products and dishes were the major source of calcium providing 42%; this was mainly from dairy milk (21%), cheese (9.6%) and yoghurt (4.8%). Other food groups contributing calcium included Cereals and cereal products, Cereal-based products and dishes (13% each) and Non-alcoholic beverages (12%). Compared with 1995, when the average calcium intake was 95 mg per 1,000 kJ, the 2011-12 average intake was very similar (98 mg per 1,000 kJ) see Table 10.53.
Footnote(s): (a) on the day prior to interview
Source(s): Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results - Food and Nutrients, 2011-12
1. National Health and Medical Research Council 2006, Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand, Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council, < http://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/calcium>, Last accessed 17/04/2014. Back
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