Consumption of a high-fat diet, rich in SFA, causes deterioration of bone properties. Some studies suggest that feeding inulin to animals may increase mineral absorption and positively affect bone quality; however, these studies have been carried out only on rodents fed a standard diet. The primary objective of this study was to determine the effect of inulin on bone health of pigs (using it as an animal model for humans) fed a high-fat diet rich in SFA, having an unbalanced ratio of lysine:metabolisable energy. It was hypothesised that inulin reduces the negative effects of such a diet on bone health. At 50 d of age, twenty-one pigs were randomly allotted to three groups: the control (C) group fed a standard diet, and two experimental (T and TI) groups fed a high-fat diet rich in SFA. Moreover, TI pigs consumed an extra inulin supply (7 % of daily feed intake). After 10 weeks, whole-body bone mineral content (P=0·0054) and bone mineral density (P=0·0322) were higher in pigs of groups TI and C compared with those of group T. Femur bone mineral density was highest in pigs in group C, lower in group TI and lowest in group T (P=0·001). Femurs of pigs in groups TI and C had similar, but higher, maximum strength compared with femurs of pigs in group T (P=0·0082). In conclusion, consumption of a high-fat diet rich in SFA adversely affected bone health, but inulin supplementation in such a diet diminishes this negative effect.