Are dairy-product/calcium requirements overestimated in Western society? Taking an opposite example, the Chinese don’t consume any, and they don’t suffer from osteoporosis.
In France as in other countries, nutrition and public-health specialists draw up recommended nutritional intake guidelines for the main nutrients necessary at various stages in life. These recommended nutritional intake guidelines are based on the feeding habits of the population and they may vary from country to country.
On the Asian continent, some populations traditionally produce and consume milk and dairy products (India and Mongolia among others), while others don’t. This is the case for most Chinese, even though milk was introduced into China by the emperors of the Manchu dynasty, who originated from Mongolia.
It should be noted that osteoporosis is also prevalent among the Chinese (and will become increasingly so, as the expectation of life increases, since osteoporosis only manifests itself after a certain age). This is borne out in various studies, and a noteworthy policy aim adopted by the present Chinese government for reasons of public health is the development of a national milk and dairy industry.
And finally, one should be cautious when comparing different dietary models and behaviour patterns in different population groups from different countries, since other specific foods or behaviours could be protective against this pathology.