Picky Eater

Kids and Calcium
December 5, 2007, 2:09 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Bone affected by Osteoporosis

Calcium Deficiency
Health experts are seeing the disturbing signs, increased bone fractures is just one of them. Children and teens consume more junk food, processed food and soft drinks than ever before. This pulls the calcium out of their bodies. Fewer than one in 10 girls and only one in four boys (aged 9-13) are getting enough calcium (National Institues of Health).

Years of research have proven that bone health is intimately related to how the body absorbs calcium. When the body does not get a sufficient intake of calcium, the bones suffer most. The first noticeable sign of calcium deficiency is bones that become soft and brittle. With a continued calcium deficiency, osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones begin to deteriorate, often develops, especially in women during and after menopause.

Children who do not consume sufficient quantities of calcium generally will experience growth-related problems including bone deformation. Children also can develop Rickets, a condition that had at one time virtually been eliminated. Decaying teeth, depression and spasms in the legs and arms are other noticeable symptoms of a calcium deficiency.

Drinking milk is definitely one habit that’s worth starting and worth continuing throughout life. Doing so helps the skeletal system develop fully and helps keep teeth and bones strong.

The required daily allowances for calcium vary depending on age. Infants and toddlers should get 400 and 600 mg respectively. Children should increase their intake of calcium to 800 and increase to 1200 mg/day as they near puberty. Teenagers need a lot of calcium because a significant amount of bone mass is being added during this stage of life. Adolescents and even young adults should strive to get 1200 mg/day. Pregnant women should try to get between 1200 and 1500 mg/day of calcium. Men need 1000 mg/day but those age 65 and above need to increase their daily intake of calcium to 1500 mg/day.

Time to bone up on calcium!



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