Osteoporosis is when your bones become thin and brittle. It’s most common in older people, although young people can suffer from it as well. It means you’re more at risk of breaks and fractures.

Osteoporosis affects more women than it does men. It’s most often found in post-menopausal women, as after menopause their bodies don’t hold on to calcium as well.

Prevent osteoporosis

You can help reduce your risk of osteoporosis if you:

  • eat food high in calcium
  • are physically active
  • enjoy a healthy body weight and image
  • are smokefree
  • go easy on alcohol
  • go easy on salt
  • see your doctor if you have irregular periods.

More for health professionals

The Food and Nutrition Guidelines contain information for health practitioners on osteoporosis and how to eat well for good bone health. You can find out more about the Ministry’s advice on nutrition in the Nutrition section.

The Consensus Statement on Vitamin D and Sun Exposure in New Zealand contains information for health practitioners on how vitamin D is connected to bone health and on making sure people get enough vitamin D.

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