Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become thinner and more fragile, leading to an increased risk of fracture. Around the world 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will suffer an osteoporotic fracture. Each November Osteoporosis Canada runs a four-week campaign to focus public attention upon the importance of building strong bones for life through awareness and education.
Bones reach their maximum strength and size (peak bone mass) around the mid-20s so prevention of osteoporosis begins with optimal bone growth and development in youth. The following are some tips for children and adolescents to build strong bones and reduce the risks of the disease.
- Ensure a nutritious diet with adequate calcium intake
- Avoid under-nutrition, particularly the effects of severe weight-loss diets and eating disorders
- Maintain an adequate supply of vitamin D
- Participate in regular physical activity
- Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke
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