AR-News: (US) ABC Evening News-horrible story on the "need for kids
to drink milk"
MEATSTINKS at aol.com
MEATSTINKS at aol.com
Fri Oct 3 23:10:36 EDT 2003
No Minor Breaks
Doctors Report Rise in Broken Bones in Children
By John McKenzie
Oct. 3— Across the country, doctors are reporting a steady increase in the
number of children with broken bones.
"The fact of the matter is that children are breaking [bones] all over," said
Dr. Laura Tosi, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Children's National Medical
Center in Washington, D.C. "It's a very high incidence of elbow fractures, as
well as fractures in the mid-part of the arm, and in the hand."
A recently published study by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., found that
over the last 30 years the number of forearm fractures in that city has
climbed more than 32 percent in boys, and 56 percent in girls.
Researchers say they are not sure why the fracture rate is rising. But they
suspect a major reason is that children are not getting enough calcium, which
is essential for strong bones.
"Calcium deficiency is the major dietary deficiency in America's children
today," Dr. Duane Alexander, director of the National Institute of Child Health
and Human Development, told ABCNEWS.
According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 86 percent
of teenage girls and 64 percent of teenage boys are "calcium deficient"; in
other words, they lack the recommended daily amount (RDA) of calcium, which is
1,300 milligrams, the equivalent of about four 8-ounce glasses of milk a day.
"Over the last 20 to 30 years, there's been a shift away from milk as the
standard drink at meals and for increased use of soft drinks and juices, and
other drinks by kids at all ages," said Alexander.
Much Greater Long-Term Risk
Calcium from milk is considered ideal because it's highly concentrated and
easily absorbed by the body. Milk also contains potassium, magnesium and protein
that are essential for healthy bones.
"Without adequate milk consumption it's virtually impossible for a child to
get the calcium intake they need in their diets," said Alexander.
And a child has critical calcium needs.
Calcium is effective at building bones, but researchers say only until the
age of 20. After that, regardless of how much you take, bone mass does not
increase, and the slow process of bone loss soon begins.
"One of the major concerns that we have," Alexander said, " is that there is
no make-up time. If you don't get all the calcium you need in childhood you
can't go back and make up for it in adult life because it doesn't get in there."
The best calcium can do for adults is slow the loss of bone.
So calcium-deficient children today are at much greater risk of developing
osteoporosis as they age, and even more broken bones.
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