Healthy Bones, Healthy Bodies: Building Bones for Life

/ Source: GlobeNewswire

TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 11, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- While osteoporosis most typically affects persons over age 50, the best defense against it begins in childhood.

In the U.S. today, 10 million people have osteoporosis; a condition characterized by decreased bone mass and density, causing a high risk for fractures. An additional 34 million individuals have been identified as having low bone mass, a risk factor for the disease.

Bone mass (the amount of bone tissue in the skeleton) accumulated during childhood and adolescence is an important factor in lifelong bone health. During that time period, the skeleton becomes larger and denser. As much as 90 percent of a person's peak bone mass is established by age 18 for girls and age 20 for boys.

Clearly it is essential to do everything we can to ensure children learn healthy habits to build bone mass for life. It is equally important to instill these habits in children who are non-ambulatory, as they are already at increased risk for osteoporosis as adults.

Raising Awareness

Bone and Joint Decade, which continues through 2011, is a concerted worldwide effort to increase understanding and awareness of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries through prevention, education and research.

During Bone and Joint Decade's National Action Week, Oct. 12-20, Shriners Hospitals for Children®will work to raise awareness of the importance of nutrition and exercise for healthy bones. For exercise and nutrition tips to help build strong bones, please visit

About Shriners Hospitals for Children®

Shriners Hospitals for Children® is a recognized leader in efforts to understand, prevent and treat musculoskeletal problems associated with pediatric orthopaedic conditions and injuries. The 19 Shriners Hospitals for Children that treat orthopaedic problems can provide information and resources to help parents, educators and other professionals help ensure that children learn healthy habits that will help their bones stay healthy for a lifetime.

Shriners Hospitals for Children® is a health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research, and outstanding teaching programs for medical professionals. Children up to age 18 with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the patients' ability to pay.

CONTACT: Shriners International Headquarters Public Relations Fabiana Lowe 813-281-7164