Interview with Molly Lippert: The Pre-Teen Ambassador of The National Osteoporosis Foundation

Pam Flores @phflores Health Guide

    Today we will be interviewing an inspiring young lady who is the pre-teen ambassador for the National Osteoporosis Foundation, Molly Lippert.  Molly also works with Best Bones ForeverTM website and will explain her role in these two great causes to further educate and spread awareness about osteoporosis. 


    National Osteoporosis Foundation Background


    Established in 1984, the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) is the leading consumer and community-focused health organization dedicated to the prevention of osteoporosis and broken bones...  NOF has partnered with other bone health advocates and organizations to initiate campaigns focused on both the prevention and management of osteoporosis.  Through programs like Best Bones Forever!, aimed at girls ages 9-14, and Know My Bones, serving the post-menopausal woman, NOF is working toward our goal of promoting healthy bones for life (NOF Fact Sheet 2010).

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    Why is early osteoporosis education so important, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius explains, research shows that bone fracture rates are increasing, and few adolescent girls get the recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D-the building blocks for strong bones.  A recent study showed that 70 percent of kids in the U.S. had below-normal levels of vitamin D, with deficiencies increasing as kids age from childhood to adolescence (PRNewswire 2009).


    Molly will tell us more about herself and her work with the NOF and Best Bones Forever.  Let's give Molly a warm welcome!


    Molly Lippert's Bio:


    My name is Molly Lippert and I am 13 years old. I have always taken an interest in my health and exercising. When I was asked to be the pre-teen ambassador for the National Osteoporosis Foundation, I thought it was a great opportunity to bring teen health to my friends and school. One of my first projects was working with Best Bones Forever. Through BBF I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Teen Vogue about teen health bringing awareness about osteoporosis to girls my age and older. Best Bones Forever is a campaign that just celebrated it's one-year anniversary for girls' ages 9-14. Best Bones forever helps girls my age get the vitamin D, calcium, exercise to keep their bones strong and healthy. I learned that when girls reach the age of 18 their bone mass is mostly developed which is why now is the time for girls to take care of themselves to prevent osteoporosis. Best Bones Forever has created a website that is full of fun stuff to learn and tells you great ways to exercise and make my favorite drink, smoothies!  Since I horseback ride I know I have to eat really well so I can use my muscles to train the horse.  I know that if I don't eat right before riding I cannot perform at my peak level. Track and Field is another sport, which I enjoy and know that eating healthy is a key to high performance. Eating healthy and exercising will always be a high priority on my agenda.


    Molly, how did you become interested in osteoporosis awareness?


    I became interested in osteoporosis awareness through our friend Craig Sotres the photographer at last years osteoporosis luncheon, and Sharon Walsh.


    Could you explain your involvement with the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) and the Best Bones Forever (BBF) campaign and your duties with each?


    I am the pre-teen ambassador for osteoporosis and represent the NOF and BBF two fantastic organizations. I spread the word about this disease to teens my age about eating healthy, exercising and having fun!


    It is such an honor to be the pre-teen ambassador for the NOF, and your work with BBF must be very rewarding. Can you tell our readers how you were chosen to be involved with both campaigns?

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    Our friend Craig Sotres who I mentioned in the beginning told us the NOF was looking for a healthy teen and he recommended me. When I heard about this amazing opportunity I said yes! I got involved in BBF because they are affiliated with the NOF.


    What should teens do to prevent osteoporosis?


    Some recommendations are: eating healthy, exercising, not be concerned about being thin and spread the word to friends.


    Are the groups that you talk to and your friends receptive to osteoporosis awareness and prevention education, or do they think that this disease is still something they don't have to think about because it's an older person's disease?


    Some girls are not too concerned but most eat healthy, make sure they exercise and don't want to risk getting a disease because they are athletes or are just really healthy.


    As you know, young girls are at the mercy of our fashion magazines, television ads and celebrities when it comes to their promotion of images for women that are extremely thin as the ideal, and many of our youth accomplish this weight loss with fad diets; what would you say to a friend who wants to emulate her favorite model, that is frighteningly thin?


    I would tell them not to change their dietary habits and that these models have to be that skinny and a result can be having osteoporosis and it is not good to risk bone damage.


    Unfortunately, eating disorders are prevalent too and it's a secondary cause of osteoporosis; what words of wisdom would you give someone with this problem, so they don't end up with poor bone quality and fractures at a very young age?


    Some words of wisdom I would say it's not a joke and being thin is not the right path to take. Don't listen to anyone who says they are "fat" but most importantly don't think you are fat and you need to loose weight.


    BBF and the NOF sends out free literature on osteoporosis to schools, educators, librarians and non-profits; have you noticed that the kids are interested and engaged in this topic, and actively looking for more information on bone loss so they can start prevention early and spread the word?


    I do think there are some kids that are interested and I know there are some that don't worry about it. I do think for the kids interested are to spread the word and it's great they are starting to be aware of this disease.


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    Molly what would you like to say about this disease, that some of us may not know, that would help to encourage the implementation of a good bone growth health plan?


    One day you see someone you know and you shake his or her hand. As you shake his or her hand you hear a crack, but your friend doesn't have a strong grip. After your hand hurts and you can't move it and you know it is broken, that is a sign of osteoporosis. It is so scary to know one day you do the slightest of things and your bone can break. That is why you need to stay healthy.


    We want to thank Molly, The National Osteoporosis Foundation, and Best Bones Forever for providing wonderful information for our youth and adults about the importance of osteoporosis awareness and prevention!


Published On: September 24, 2010