Dairy products such as milk and yogurt promote healthier hip bones than cream, says a new finding.

Choosing low-fat milk or yogurt over cream can increase intake of protein, calcium and vitamin D, while limiting intake of saturated fats, said Shivani Sahni, who co-authored the study.

A quarter of those who suffer a hip fracture die within a year of the injury.

About 34 million Americans alone have low bone density, facing a higher risk for osteoporosis and fractures, especially of the hip, spine and wrist.

“Dairy foods provide several important nutrients that are beneficial for bone health,” said Sahni. “However, cream and its products such as ice cream have lower levels of these nutrients and have higher levels of fat and sugar.

“In this study, 2.5 to three servings of milk and yogurt intake per day were associated with better bone density,” she said.

“More research is needed to examine the role of cheese intake (some of which can be high in fat and sodium), and whether individual dairy foods have a significant impact in reducing fractures,” said Sahni.

Osteoporosis is considered a major public health threat for an estimated 44 million Americans alone, or half of those aged 50 and older.IANS