Osteoporosis is a significant concern for the aging population. A new study suggests the risk can be offset by development of lean muscle in childhood.
To draw this conclusion, researchers measured bone mineral density, body composition, and tibia shape and size in 200 children at birth and then again at age 6–7. The goal was to determine whether lean mass and fat mass had different effects on bone density. Perhaps not surprisingly, the researchers noted a positive association between lean muscle mass development and increased bone strength among the children. There was no similar association between bone strength and fat mass. As a result, the researchers suggested that physical activity and the development of lean mass should be emphasized during childhood. The study appeared in Bone (2015; 75, 105–10).
Interested in inspiring kids to be more active? Check out the article “Youth Athletics: Put Excitement Back Into Play” in the May 2015 issue of IDEA Fitness Journal.