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Osteoporosis
Facts for Teens

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Education Programs

 

What's it all about? 

  • One out of every two American women will get osteoporosis after age 65. 
  • Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become soft and weak. 
  • With osteoporosis, fractures and breaks of bones occur during ordinary activities like walking. 
  • Another name for osteoporosis is brittle bone disease.

Why worry now-I'm a teenager?

Good question. Here are several reasons why teens should be concerned about osteoporosis:

  • During the teen years, almost one-half of the adult skeleton is formed.
  • Less than half of all teens get enough calcium every day. For teenage girls, the statistics are even worse-only 15 percent of them get enough calcium!
  •  If you build your bones when you're in your teens, you will be less likely to fracture your bones when you're older.

What causes my risk for osteoporosis? 

  • Not getting enough calcium. 
  • Females are four times more likely than males to develop osteoporosis. 
  • Drinking too many soft drinks-teens who drink lots of soda often drink less milk. 
  • Too little physical activity-regular physical activity that puts weight on your bones, like walking, running, playing basketball or dancing, helps prevent osteoporosis. 
  • Race plays a role-African Americans have a lower risk because their bones are usually stronger and more dense than Caucasians and Asians. 
  • Family history-other people in the family with osteoporosis. 
  • Smoking causes bone loss.

What can I do to prevent osteoporosis? 

  • Eat lots of calcium-rich foods like milk, yogurt and cheese; calcium-fortified orange juice and bread; green leafy vegetables like collards and kale; canned salmon and sardines or tofu. 
  • If you don't eat dairy products, it may be necessary for you to take a calcium supplement to meet your high calcium needs as a teen. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian before taking any type of supplement. 
  • Get some type of weight-bearing physical activity every day. 
  • Limit soft drink consumption to one or less a day.

Did you notice????

We can control many of the things that cause osteoporosis,
like what we eat, smoking and getting enough physical activity.

Related Topics:

 

Other Diet and Disease Educational Support Materials:
Cancer  Diabetes  Heart Disease  Hypertension 
Osteoporosis  Phytochemicals

 

 
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last updated: 10/27/08
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