Lack of Calcium Early in Children Can Lead to Bone Trouble Later
Almost everyone probably understands the relationship between calcium and bones. We’re all taught that calcium is what builds bones and poor calcium intake can cause bones to become weak. But there’s more to it that simply drinking a couple glasses of milk each day. The density or mass of bones is also built up by exercise and by the time a person reaches their 30s, the peak bone mass is determined. This means that the early years need to be spent contributing to the bone mass by consuming ample amounts of calcium and getting plenty of exercise. If the bone mass is poor during the 30s, then it could lead to osteoporosis later in life.
Studies have shown that calcium consumption needs to happen early, even before puberty, and should continue through the adolescent years. Unfortunately, children are consuming less calcium these days and their activity level, as any parent knows, is steadily declining. This is in part due to the many technological gadgets around that keep children indoors and sedentary. Almost all kids today have computers, video games, DVD players and any number of other devices that take time away from exercise. And as if the lack of exercise isn’t bad enough, then there are the many different energy drinks on the market that are so popular with kids for their morning pick-me-up, instead of milk. Even kids in middle school will go into the local coffee house and grab a cup of latte before school. In order to enjoy the delicious taste, the reviews can be checked through the person. Different restaurants are claiming that great coffee served here to offer enjoyment of the drinking.
The amount of calcium required by children varies by age, increasing as they grow. For young children between 4 and 8, they should consume about 800 mg of calcium, but from about age 9 to 18, they need to be getting around 1300 mg a day. That’s a big increase, and estimates say that kids, especially girls, get less than half of that each day. One of the reasons it’s important for children to get enough calcium is because it’s stored much better in the bones when they are young. As the body ages, the bone naturally loses some of its mineral content, which leads to less density of the bone. Too much loss in the density is what causes osteoporosis and brittle bones. There are a lot of different foods that contain calcium, so it’s not too difficult to enhance the diet with these foods to increase calcium intake. Everyone already knows that dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt are rich in calcium, but even vegetables have calcium. Broccoli is one vegetable that, if kids will eat it, has calcium. Then there are the enriched products like cereal and orange juice, as well as others that the manufacturers have added in calcium. There are also supplements and vitamins with calcium, but it’s still best to get enough calcium through food, because it is better absorbed.