"Dairy foods are a great source of calcium, which is essential to bone health. Calcium helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures and it helps regulate blood pressure," said Kristin Biskeborn, State Nutritionist for the Department of Health.
"We should be consuming three servings of dairy a day according to the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans but unfortunately, too many of us don't follow that recommendation so we aren't getting the calcium we need."
People can join the 3 Dairy A Day Challenge as individuals or challenge family, friends or co-workers to compete as teams by registering at www.healthySD.gov. The challenge runs Jan. 15 through Feb. 15 and participants will be able to start logging their daily dairy consumption beginning Jan. 15. Biskeborn said one cup of dairy is equal to 8 ounces of milk, 1 cup of yogurt or 1 to 1-1?2 ounces of cheese.
Participants who register for the challenge can receive a magnetic grocery list pad provided by the Midwest Dairy Council. At the close of the competition, a selection of individuals completing the challenge will be randomly chosen to receive baskets of dairy products and other merchandise donated by the Midwest Dairy Council and South Dakota dairy producers.
To sign up or to learn more about the challenge, go to www.healthysd.gov and click on "3 Dairy A Day Challenge," or call the department's Office of Health Promotion at 605-773-3737.