Milk – Keeps on Giving



Although milk has always been seen as important for young and growing children to help with healthy bones, with this new research that shows the benefits when you are old as well you can see it really is worth drinking that milk!



It has been found by researchers at the University of Bristol that elderly people who consumed a higher amount of dairy products during their childhood are able to walk faster later on in life. So children who drink more milk are more likely to be physically fitter in old age. They were also less likely to suffer from problems with balance which is important as balance issues are one of the main causes of fractures of bones in old age. 

Falls are a serious problem, with one in three over 65s suffering a serious fall at least once a year, with hip fractures being one of the most common. The charity Age UK estimates that these falls cost around £1.8 billion a year for treatment and care. 

The staggering statistic that if over 65 and break a hip you have a 20% chance of dying within the year should be enough to encourage more people and especially parents of children to drink more milk. 


It has long be said how consuming dairy products can lead to strong bones by receiving this larger amount of calcium during childhood. Though now we also know hoe important this is for people later in life as well. Researchers from the university’s School of Social and Community Medicine studied 400 men and women aged from their mid-60s to late 80s. All of the participants had previously taken part in a study in the 1930s to analyse the affect of diet and lifestyle on long-term health.

As part of the study, the volunteers, who were then all young children, were tracked for their intake of milk and dairy goods. This was to test if this had any impact on health in old age, the volunteers were tested for their walking speeds and their balance.

The results which have been published in the journal Age and Ageing, show that milk-lovers had five per cent faster walking times than those who drank little or no milk when they were young They were also 25 per cent less likely to have potentially dangerous balance problems.

The researchers said: ‘This is the first study to show positive associations of childhood milk intake with physical performance in old age.’

Free milk has not been available in primary schools since 1971 though now under the new Nursery Milk Scheme, up to one-third of a pint of free milk a day is provided to children under five in approved day care facilities.


Original article can be found here: