advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Too Many Kids Breaking Bones?

My ten-year-old niece recently broke her arm, and the doctor said he had been seeing a lot of fractures among girls her age than he used to. Is there a trend? If so, do you know why?

A
Answer (Published 12/30/2003)

Updated on 7/29/2005

Results of a study at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., suggest that the rate of wrist and forearm fractures among young girls has increased dramatically in the last 30 years. The study results, published in the September 17, 2003 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that the fracture rate for young girls increased 56 percent between 1969-1971 and 1999-2001. Boys still suffer more fractures, but the rate of increase among young boys was only 32 percent. Overall, the Mayo Clinic researchers found that the fracture rate among young people had increased 42 percent over three decades.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for Energy - If you are a parent or grandparent, you know that energy is vital to keeping up with the kids. Find out what foods and supplements can keep you energized - naturally! Join the Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging online plan today and get 14 days free!

The researchers had no answers for why this is happening. It is unlikely that youngsters are breaking bones because they've become more physically active. One possibility is that kids may not be getting enough calcium during a period when their bones are growing rapidly. If so, their bones may never become as dense as they should, which raises the possibility that affected youngsters may be more vulnerable later in life to osteoporosis and hip and vertebral fractures.

The researchers noted that government surveys have shown a decrease in milk consumption among older girls and an increase in consumption of carbonated drinks. The phosphates in carbonated beverages interfere with calcium absorption. The RDA for calcium is 1,300 mg for young people age nine to 18. This translates to 4-5 servings of dairy per day, but kids don't have to drink milk to get their calcium. Other good sources include yogurt, cheese, sea vegetables, collard and mustard greens, kale, bok choy, broccoli, canned salmon and sardines, tofu that has been coagulated with a calcium compound, calcium-fortified soy milk and cereals, fruit juice, and blackstrap molasses.

Other experts have noted instances of vitamin D deficiency that could contribute to weakened bones. Our bodies make vitamin D with exposure to sunlight, and youngsters who spend too much time indoors may not produce optimal amounts of vitamin D. Spending 10 minutes in the sun without sunscreen a few days each week will do the trick, but it is not a bad idea for kids 12 and older to take a multivitamin supplement that includes 2,000 IU of vitamin D.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here