Children doing jumping jacks
A healthy diet and weight-bearing exercise build optimal bone health.

Facts about Bone Health in Children and Adolescents

Prevention begins in childhood

    • It is important to promote bone health at all ages
    • Childhood and young adulthood are the bone building years
    • As children grow, their bone mass increases until it reaches what is called peak bone mass  (“PBM”) .
    • PBM  is the greatest amount of bone an individual can attain
    • PBM is reached in the late teens and early 20’s
    • Children and adolescents who have higher PBM reduce their risk of osteoporosis later in life

What can I do to help my child and teen build and protect their bones?

  • Provide a well balanced diet including calcium rich foods  such as milk, yogurt, green leafy vegetables and calcium fortified foods
  • Be sure your child gets the right amount of vitamin D
  • Be sure your child is physically active – Children and teens need to be active everyday and get at least 60 minutes of moderate exercise
  • If you observe your child or teen exercising or dieting to excess, speak to them and your healthcare provider
  • Stress the importance of healthy life-style choices including avoiding smoking and avoiding underage alcohol consumption since they are harmful to bones
  • Teach about the importance of wearing a seatbelt and using protective equipment for sports such as a helmet, and knee pads to protect bones
  • Speak to your child’s healthcare provider about their bone health

BHOF (formerly NOF) released a position statement providing evidence-based guidance and a national implementation strategy to help children and adolescents achieve optimal bone health, known as “peak bone mass,” early in life. Considered the first systematic review of its kind, researchers found strong evidence supporting a positive effect of calcium intake and physical activity on bone accumulation and growth.

Press materials supporting the position statement and additional information on peak bone mass and bone health nutrition are included below.

Peak Bone Mass Press Materials

Nutrition and Bone Health Additional Materials

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