Building healthy bones.

@GardenGerty (118006)
United States
February 10, 2008 2:56pm CST
We have several practices as a society that are beginning to take a toll on our children's futures health wise. Doctors are seeing more fractures in the kids they see nowadays. We have more kids involved in sports, and that is good, but the average child has weaker bones today than he would have had twenty years ago. We do not make sure our kids drink milk, so they have a hard time getting enough calcium. On top of that, we allow them to drink pop on a regular, daily basis. Pop often has phosphoric acid, which leaches calcium from bones, or it has caffeine, which causes calcium to be excreted in more frequent urination. We do not have time for the kids to play outside, so they miss out on the sunshine that causes the body to produce Vitamin D that works with our calcium. Kids get less recess and less PE at their schools, so they are doing fewer things that cause bone density to imcrease, like running, climbing, jumping rope. Fewer weight bearing exercises. Lastly, we do not enforce a bed time. Kids who do not sleep as much do not get as much bone grwoth. Bones need that downtime to regenerate. Think about your kids. You may have to be the enforcer, but if you don't you could be seeing broken bones and bone illness by the time your kids are 30
8 people like this
21 responses
@jennybianca (12913)
• Australia
10 Feb 08
I completely agree with this. Kids do drink less milk, get less recess time, dont play outside sport & eat lots of crappy food. The only difference here is that we do get plenty of sunshine & there is not less sport in schools. It is out of school hours sport that kids participate in less nowadays. Ceetainly many kids get less sleep now too, as they are allowed to stay up late watching DVDS. I wonder how many parents think very long term in regards to their kids health, & particularly bones. The rate of Osteoporois is now 33%
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (118006)
• United States
10 Feb 08
Jenny is that rate for Australia, or world wide? It is something I did not know. The bad or ironic thing is that we have gotten so good at with sunscreen that our bodies do not get the chance to produce the vitamin D. We need the sunblock, but ten or fifteen minutes unprotected sun daily does a lot for our overall health.
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@jennybianca (12913)
• Australia
11 Feb 08
That rate is for Australia, which I should have mentioned. It is extremely high. I would not be due to lack of sunlight at all. It must be a combination of a poor diet & lack og physical activity. I have to be tested for bone strenght too, as osteoporis runs in my family. Another reason for it as that when in menapause, calcuim is leached from our bones. Thats why a lot of women here have hormone replacement therapy here.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (118006)
• United States
11 Feb 08
It would be interesting to know why it is so high in Australia. I do not know where to get the status in the States.
1 person likes this
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
20 Feb 08
I have to say that I thoroughly agree with everything you said in your discussion. In fact, my family is proof. I don't have kids, but I have five siblings, one older and four younger. I've seen the way my older sister and I grew up as opposed to how my younger siblings were brought up. From the oldest to the youngest child, there is a 14-year span, which is pretty significant. My oldest sister has been married for a year and a half. My youngest sister isn't even in middle school yet. When I was young, my parents always made us drink milk and I never drank pop. (I like how you call it "pop" also!) Pop was always considered a treat if we were allowed to drink it out birthday parties and such. It was only for special occasions, though. I remember getting so sick of drinking milk that I actually started to love it as I grew older. I got to where I chose that over pop when I had the liberty to choose for myself. My older sister and I played sports in high school and never broke a bone. I've broken three teeth, but I don't think that counts as much. My younger brother has never broken a bone either. The first three of us kids are only two years apart, so we all were raised in pretty much the same way and habits. My younger three sisters don't have to drink milk all the time like I did. Not fair! (LOL) One of my sister's has broken at least two if not three of her fingers playing basketball. My other younger sister has broken at least two fingers and her wrist, and sprained her ankle. My youngest sister hasn't started sports yet, but that's coming next year. Not only do my younger siblings not have to drink milk all the time, they drink a lot more pop and they don't get to bed on time ever. It seems unfair to me now looking back, but to tell you the truth, I'm glad I was made to grow up the way I did because I really benefit from it now. I'm glad my parents made me drink as much milk as they did because now I'm allergic to milk and obviously can't drink it like I used to. Over a year ago, I also started a "pop diet." Basically, I haven't drank pop since September 2006. It's been one of the best decisions I've ever made, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is trying to get healthy. I love this discussion and I'm glad you posted it because parents need to know what their children are experiencing in this day and age. They need to know how to prevent what's happening and keep their children healthy. Thanks for the great post!
@GardenGerty (118006)
• United States
20 Feb 08
I learned from a friend last night that drinking artificially sweetened beverages also increases acid reflux symptoms. Her gastro intestinal specialist told her this.
1 person likes this
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
21 Feb 08
Thanks so much for best response! It's really ironic that you would mention acid reflux because my youngest sister has probably drank the most "junk," so to speak, and she's the only one of the six of us kids to have acid reflux! It's really intriguing and interesting finding out about all the things that the human body really shouldn't have to tolerate. Like I said, my "no pop" rule has really made a difference. I find I can eat more substantial meals without having the pop bubbling up in my stomach and filling it up with air before I could even have a bite to eat. I also can't drink much orange or grapefruit juice because of the acid although thankfully I don't have my sister's condition. Thanks again and I appreciate you sharing all of this helpful information with me!
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
12 Feb 08
YOu are so right! All you say is true and most people don't realize that. It's bad enough that during the winter in here even if we walked around naked all day we still wouldn't be exposed to enough sunshine to produce the needed vitamin D. WHen we add to that the fact that kids are not outside as much as they used to be before it's even worse. And yes, rest is so very important. I'm sure most parents mean for their kids to have enough sleep, and some even think they do. What they don't know because they are not aware is that so many kids wake up in the middle of the night to go watch tv or go onto the computer . I hear so many kids talking about it at school. What am I to do? When I talk to parents I try to make them more aware and to check if they're kids are really sleeping , but it's difficult to not only find the times the kids do it but even more to get some parents to believe that their own kids are doing it. Pop is equally bad for the bones too for the reasons you point out, but a lot of people don't realize that.Some see it as a reward to give kids what they like to drink. SOme drink it themselves so see no harm on the kids drinking it. True in balance it's not the only problem but I've seen kids drinking over 10 pops a day. That's a lot !
@GardenGerty (118006)
• United States
12 Feb 08
How do they ever sit still to learn, or stay out of the bathroom, for that matter?
1 person likes this
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
12 Feb 08
Tell me about it!!! but that's not even what worries me the most. It's this new energy drinks. A lot of kids are getting them and don't realize the difference between regular pop and those. WOrse yet a lot of parents don't realize it either and don't read the labels, so they get them for the kids because the kids asked for them. Very scary.
1 person likes this
18 Feb 08
I have drink milk from when I was a child and till now every day. When I was 19 I broke my leg and after the intervention the doctor has made he recomend me to: -drink at least 1/2 liter milk each day - drink at least 1/2 liter ( liquid meat boil ) I do not know the exact phrase of this sorry each day - eat fresh fruits 1/2 kg each day -eat fresh vegetables each day - make exercise everyday for the structure of the muscles and bones This for the period of 6 month. I 've done this and my leg was soon healthy again.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (118006)
• United States
18 Feb 08
I think your liquid meat boil must be something like a meat soup, full of nutrients. I am glad that you made these changes and that you now have a healthy leg.
• United States
13 Feb 08
I have ostopenea. I don't know if I spelled that right or not. I had plenty of milk and sunshine as a child and enjoyed it as an adult. I don't know why I got this but was diagnosed last year with it. I now take a 600mg calcium pill a day, a muti vitamin with 450 mg calcium in it and drink at least one big glass of chocolate flavored milk a day. I gave up caffeinated coffee and switched to decaf. I also take actonel once a week. Now I'm afraid I'll fall on the ice. I hope things are improving with my bones, it's hard to tell. It's not my mothers fault, the only thing I found that could relate to my condition is I had rickets when I was young. I didn't eat my vegetables I guess. It wasn't a severe case, just made my feet turn in a little. So along with milk, make sure your kids eat their veggies.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
11 Feb 08
One more thing that you have to look out for concerning calcium. A doctor who visits their school taught this to my son's calss (2nd graders). She asked them to check the food packets....anything that contains 'hydrogenated vegetable oil' are 'calcium robbers' and these steal the calcium from your body. So, even if kids are taking in their milk and calcium products but having too many other stuff containing hydrogenated vegetable oil...they are losing most of the calcium that they are taking in. I didn't know that till my son told me...and I was happily assuming that my son was getting enough calcium. He checks all the food packets now. Fortunately, we didn't encourage the kind of food that contains hydrogenated vegetable oil (without actually knowing about it)...so it worked out good for us.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (118006)
• United States
12 Feb 08
That is a new health fact for me, and I appreciate you passing it along.
@lilybug (21145)
• United States
11 Feb 08
Milk is one thing that I have no problem getting my kids to consume. They both love it. My son rarely drinks soda and when he does it is usually caffeine free and my daughter does not drink it at all.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (118006)
• United States
11 Feb 08
My kids did not when they were young. There was a fast food place that my daughter liked to go, because she could get orange juice instead of pop.
• United States
10 Feb 08
This is excellent information Gerty and important for adults as well. This would explain why jumping out of trees as a kid never hurt me, but I've had 3 broken bones from simple falls as an adult.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (118006)
• United States
10 Feb 08
Around thirty, even with a healthy lifestyle, you cease building bone density and begin losing it. You can help that by getting calcium rich foods, which your body likes better than supplements, and walking and doing gentle exercise. I also suspect trampolines and rebounders are really bone friendly. Take care of yourself, friend.
@drannhh (15235)
• United States
10 Feb 08
Wonderful contribution, GardenGerty! This would seem self-evident, but day by day we keep discovering that many parents doe not know these facts, as many were raised by parents who themselves did not know. Parenting is not being a buddy or a brother or sister to one's children but taking good care of them and giving them the nutrients and the exercise, and the moral guidances, to grow up strong and wise and healthy as well as building their self-esteem and making them feel safe. I just shudder whenever I see children drinking soda pop, and some parents are feeding it to newborns from the bottle in place of milk!
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (118006)
• United States
10 Feb 08
Powdered drink mixes are not much better, and people give these instead of juice. This info. is from research for my first Helium post. I knew much of it, but it was interesting to put it all together logically. Life is just different for my grandkids than it was for me.
• United States
10 Feb 08
You noted all the very important points, calcium, sunshine to covert calcium to vitamin D and weight bearing exercise are all necessarry for healthy bones. The computer, video games, cutbacks in PE at school these are all things that are harming our kids. My kids play outside almost every day for at least 1 hr. Even though we home school we do follow a PE program 2-3 days a week on top of recess. It is so important for healthy bones, and optimal weight for them to get exercise.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (118006)
• United States
10 Feb 08
People have more trouble if they live very far north. Because you homeschool you can guarrantee that your kids get more physical activity. It is kind of sad, we are learning to use sunblock so well we do prevent the production of D. That is why they have to add D to milk.
@Grandmaof2 (7603)
• Canada
10 Feb 08
As far as I'm concerned too many young people do abuse their bodies. I truly hope good start at home helps to make good habits later in life. I was never made to drink milk and eat fruit and vegitables the way my daughter serves it to her two kids and it makes me happy to see that they are made to drink milk and juice. They do get to have some pop but they are strickly monitored on it and certainly do not get it every day. We went out for lunch recently with a young couple and they had two large glasses of coke and almost ordered the third. We drank coffee so I guess we're no better. I have also noticed my daughter and son in law do drink some milk as well. This to me sets a good example. Just my two bits worth...
@GardenGerty (118006)
• United States
10 Feb 08
Thanks for commenting. Yes, kids get their examples at home. My kids loved milk. My daughter did have a serious broken bone, but she came by it by doing an unprotected gymnastics move outdoors. If you drink cream in your coffee and you use real milk you offset the calcium loss.
@Polly1 (12647)
• United States
10 Feb 08
Wow, I never thought of this in this way, but its all so true. I am so happy that my grandkids have some healthy practices going on already. The boys are all so active with outside activities and sports. They all like to drink milk. We as a family are not pop drinkers, I also rarely drink pop. I hope lots of people read this and pay attention to this.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (118006)
• United States
10 Feb 08
Great. Polly, according to a health educator I heard present at work, adults really suffer from the effects of the pop pulling out the calcium, because it reverses the calcium/phosphorous balance.
@izathewzia (5141)
• Philippines
10 Feb 08
There are a lot of ways to build our bones healthy. Taking vitamins, drinking milk, proper and regular exercises, etc. It is really good to do it to prevent deceases that might affect us later on.
@GardenGerty (118006)
• United States
10 Feb 08
Planning ahead for a healthy life.
@kykidd (6818)
• United States
10 Feb 08
This is interesting. I guess I had never thought about it, we were served milk every day for lunch in school. We also had milk for breakfast in our cereal. I didn't break my first bone until I was 35, now I know why.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (118006)
• United States
10 Feb 08
Kids are served milk but often do not drink it. I loved milk, could not get enough, and I have very strong bones according to my bone density tests.
@Pose123 (21661)
• Canada
11 Feb 08
Hi GardenGerty, I agree with you on this one. Too much pop and spending too much time inside are the big culprits here. Time for parents to start enforcing some rules. Blessings.
1 person likes this
@comfort55 (1574)
• India
11 Feb 08
Yeah these days children have developed many habits resulting in weaker bones but somehow now I feel that the trend has started changing...Educated parents consult counsellers,online parental training sites,reading books and come out with new ideas to take care of their kids better than their parents did.Yesterday only I read an article in a national paper that working mothers are quitting their jobs to bring up their babies in a better & scientific way which their parents could never think of..I wish all such mothers specially working moms to quit their jobs for sometime if their husbands are working and give full attention to your growing child to form his strong foundation...Good Luck!
1 person likes this
@vanities (11410)
• Davao, Philippines
11 Feb 08
well that is very informative ...great..yeah i agree with that as parents we had to nourish our children well ..a good foundation should be built while theyre still young...
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Feb 08
stop all the pop..drink CAL MAX and exercise more and less of the TV, Movie and video and junk food
1 person likes this
@olivemai (4738)
• United States
11 Feb 08
This is very interesting! It is at an even younger age though, that we will see health problems begin! Diabetes Type 2 is on the increase in young people under 20 years of age!
@CAMILLERI (373)
• Australia
11 Feb 08
In general I am in agreement with what you have to say. Bones and their health are very dependent on the genes of the parents of these children. They should be made aware that it is a prerequisite to get their houses in order so that the healthy bones can become an automatic transfer down. It is also a necessity for parents to make sure that they bring up their children properly.
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