Today, members of the International Osteoporosis Foundation in 86 countries will be celebrating World Osteoporosis Day. The 2006 theme for the event is “nutrition” and coincides with the release of the IOF’s new report called, “Bone Appétit: the role of food and nutrition in building and maintaining strong bones. The report emphasizes that good nutrition is essential to maintaining healthy, strong bones. This year’s theme follows the "exercise" theme in 2005. “Nutrition” is the second in a three-year WOD lifestyle campaign to get people to reduce their risk of having an osteoporosis fracture, and to reach a young, more energetic and empowered target audience.
The main messages of the 2006 campaign are that good nutrition (including adequate calcium, vitamin D and protein intake):
- Helps to build peak bone mass in young people (especially ages 8-15)
- Helps to maintain general health during adulthood (35-50)
- Are useful as part of treatment/rehabilitation program for people with fractures (55+)
Eating-related disorders can have a serious negative impact on bone health (especially ages 12-30)
At a recent press conference in Hong Kong, the IOF Chief Executive Officer Daniel Navid said, “By rejecting the misconception that ‘skinny is beautiful’ and not following harmful and excessive weight loss diets, people can build strong bones and help to reduce the risk of breaking bones due to osteoporosis later in life.” Approximately 10 million people in the US currently have osteoporosis. Estimates are that fifty percent of women and 25% of men will have it in their lifetime and the population with osteoporosis will increase as the population ages.
The IOF has also released 12 public service announcements featuring internationally known entertainers, athletes, chefs and osteoporosis advocates urging people to adopt bone-friendly eating habits. The celebrities include actor Jet Li and master and celebrity television chef Martin Yan. The IOF also has a new website that features nutritional information for the public and health professionals, a global recipe database, and a calcium intake calculator.
The following are some nutritional facts from the IOF website:
Calcium and vitamin D
- Studies in children and adolescents have shown that adding extra dietary or supplemental calcium enhances the rate of bone mineral gain during growth.
- Vitamin D is essential for assisting calcium absorption and ensuring bone tissue renewal yet a growing body of evidence suggests that, on a global level, vitamin D deficiency is widespread.
- Calcium and vitamin D supplementation reduces rates of bone loss and also reduces fracture rates in older people.
- Adequate dietary protein is essential for bone health. Studies have shown that elderly men and women with higher dietary protein intakes had lower rates of hip and spine bone loss than those consuming lower amounts of protein.
- In elderly patients who have suffered hip fractures, ensuring sufficient protein intake helps to speed recovery, shorten hospital stays, and increase the likelihood of returning to independent living.
- Bone mass accumulation is greatest during puberty, thereby putting adolescents who follow unnecessary and excessive diets, and particularly those with anorexia nervosa, at greater risk for reduced peak bone mass and for fractures later in life.
Learn more about osteoporosis.
Find more information about osteoporosis from the International Osteoporosis Foundation.
Published On: October 20, 2006