The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) recently released a position statement regarding a strategy to help children and adolescents achieve peak bone mass.

Published in Osteoporosis International, the statement highlights nutrition, physical activity, and lifestyle factors involved in developing optimal peak bone mass, which is typically reached in one’s early 20s. Optimizing peak bone mass and strength is a primary strategy to reducing the risk of osteoporosis and related fractures later in life, explains a media release from NOF.

“Bone mass, density and strength, all factors associated with fracture in children and adults, are largely influenced by lifestyle factors. Our goal in releasing this position statement is to help implement a national strategy to prevent fractures and protect against osteoporosis by highlighting known nutrition and lifestyle changes that can be made to achieve peak bone mass,” says Connie Weaver, PhD, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Women’s Global Health Institute, Purdue University, in the release.

According to the statement, the best evidence points to the positive effects of calcium intake and physical activity, especially during the late childhood and peripubertal years—a critical period for bone building. Good evidence also supports the positive role of vitamin D and a detrimental effect of carbonated soft drink consumption in building bone, per the release.

“We know that nutrition and exercise play an important role in bone health throughout the lifespan,” states Taylor C. Wallace, PhD, senior director of science, policy and government relations at NOF, in the release. “In addition to calcium and vitamin D, consumption of other nutrients including dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C are also important for bone health.”

“We’ve long considered calcium intake and exercise to be critical factors for achieving and maintaining healthy bones and are pleased to see the first systematic review of the science behind peak bone mass validates our approach,” says Amy Porter, executive director and CEO, National Osteoporosis Foundation, per the release.

[Source(s): National Osteoporosis Foundation, PR Newswire]