Updated 29 May 2015

Kids with stronger muscles have lower risk of osteoporosis

Kids with stronger muscles tend to have healthier bones - a factor that significantly delays the onset of osteoporosis in later life.


Stronger muscles seems to mean healthier bones in children, according to a new study.

"Bone strength and size is important because they are significant factors in long-term osteoporosis and fracture risk," said lead investigator Dr. Rebecca Moon, of the University of Southampton in England.

"A 10 percent increase in peak bone mass will delay the onset of osteoporosis by 13 years. These findings point to the importance of early childhood physical activity to optimise muscle and bone growth," she said in a university news release.

For the study, the researchers assessed 200 British children soon after birth and again when they were 6 to 7 years old, and found a link between higher amounts of lean muscle and healthy bone development.

The connection between lean muscle and bone development was stronger in girls than in boys.

There was no association between fat and bone development, suggesting that fat is not an important factor in children's bone health, the researchers said.

The study was published recently in the journal Bone.

Read more:

Osteoporosis: the brittle facts

Why you should be taking a calcium supplement in your twenties

Is milk actually bad for your health?

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Healthy Bones

Tereza is the CEO of the National Osteoporosis Foundation and worked as a Nursing Sister in the field of Osteoporosis for 18 years prior to her appointment with the Foundation. She used to be the Educational Officer for the Foundation and co-wrote the patient brochure on Osteoporosis. Read more

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