Facts about Bone Health in Children and Adolescents
Prevention begins in childhood
- It is important to promote bone health at all ages
- Childhood and young adulthood are the bone building years
- As children grow, their bone mass increases until it reaches what is called peak bone mass (“PBM”) .
- PBM is the greatest amount of bone an individual can attain
- PBM is reached in the late teens and early 20’s
- Children and adolescents who have higher PBM reduce their risk of osteoporosis later in life
What can I do to help my child and teen build and protect their bones?
- Provide a well balanced diet including calcium rich foods such as milk, yogurt, green leafy vegetables and calcium fortified foods
- Be sure your child gets the right amount of vitamin D
- Be sure your child is physically active – Children and teens need to be active everyday and get at least 60 minutes of moderate exercise
- If you observe your child or teen exercising or dieting to excess, speak to them and your healthcare provider
- Stress the importance of healthy life-style choices including avoiding smoking and avoiding underage alcohol consumption since they are harmful to bones
- Teach about the importance of wearing a seatbelt and using protective equipment for sports such as a helmet, and knee pads to protect bones
- Speak to your child’s healthcare provider about their bone health
NOF recently released a position statement providing evidence-based guidance and a national implementation strategy to help children and adolescents achieve optimal bone health, known as “peak bone mass,” early in life. Considered the first systematic review of its kind, researchers found strong evidence supporting a positive effect of calcium intake and physical activity on bone accumulation and growth.
Press materials supporting the position statement and additional information on peak bone mass and bone health nutrition are included below.
Peak Bone Mass Press Materials
- Peak Bone Mass Press Release
- Peak Bone Mass Infographic
- Osteoporosis International article, “The National Osteoporosis Foundation’s Position Statement on Peak Bone Mass Development and Lifestyle Factors: A Systematic Review and Implementation Recommendations”
Nutrition and Bone Health Additional Materials
- Prune research: Comparative effects of dried plum and dried apple on bone in postmenopausal women
- FREE WEBINAR ON-DEMAND: Nutrition and Physical Activity to Achieve Peak Bone Mass
- NOF’s Calcium and Vitamin D Statement
- NOF List of Bone Healthy Ingredients
- Life-Course Approach to Nutrition article
- Together Counts™ School Curriculum