Magazine article USA TODAY

Who Is at Risk?

Magazine article USA TODAY

Who Is at Risk?

Article excerpt

Although osteoporosis typically doesn't become evident until later years, dietary habits throughout life influence the risk of developing the disease. A lifetime of adequate calcium consumption not only helps build peak bone mass in younger years, it helps decrease bone loss in adult life.

The recommended intake of calcium is 1,200 mg per day (equivalent to four servings of milk, dairy products, or other calcium-rich foods) for males and females age 11-24 and for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Children under 11 and all adults 25 and older should consume at least 800 mg (three servings) of calcium per day. Here's a quick checklist to help determine your likelihood of developing osteoporosis and what steps can be taken to help prevent it:

* Are you female? Women are approximately four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. They have less bone mass and also lose bone more rapidly at menopause.

* Are you a couch potato? Lack of regular exercise-especially weight-bearing exercise such as walking or aerobics - increases bone loss. …

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