Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Stay connected:   
Education Materials
Dairy Download Subscribe
Nutrition & Product Information
Calcium Recommendations

Calcium is one of the nutrients most likely to be lacking in the American diet. According to the latest government statistics, the following percentages of Americans fail to meet current calcium recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS):

Gender and Age (Years)
Percent Not Meeting 1997
Calcium Adequate
Intake Recommendations*
Children ages 5 and younger 30%
Girls ages 6-11 70%
Boys ages 6-11 60%
Teenage girls ages 12-19 88%
Teenage boy ages 12-19 68%
Adult women (ages 20+) 90%
Adult men (ages 20+) 73%
All individuals 75%

Source: USDA’s Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals, 1994-96

The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for calcium as recommended by the National Academy of Science (NAS), is as follows:

Age(Years) Calcium (mg/day) Dairy Servings*
1-3 500 3 servings**
4-8 800 3 servings
9-18 1300 4 servings
19-50 1000 3 servings
51+ 1200 4 servings

*The recommended dairy servings are based on the NAS calcium recommendations. A serving size of dairy equals 1 cup (8 ounces) of milk, 1 cup of yogurt and 1 to 1.5 ounces of cheese.

**Serving sizes for children ages 1-3 are two-thirds the adult size. For example, a serving of milk for kids ages 1-3 is 6 ounces, rather than the 8-ounce size for older kids, teens and adults.

Additional resources are available at

Call (312) 240-2880 for more information.

©2004 National Dairy Council®

Dairy’s Health Benefits

Getting three servings of low-fat or fat-free, nutrient-rich dairy foods every day plays a crucial role in helping to promote bone health, healthy blood pressure and a healthy weight.