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Calcium: An Essential Nutrient for Teens

Armen Hareyan's picture

Teen Health

The teen years are key to development of healthy, strong bones. A new study says girls might be missing the mark.

A study in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association looked at trends in beverage consumption of more than 700 girls from ages 12 to 19. The survey found that milk intake decreased by 36 percent from the late 1970s to the mid 1990s, while consumption of soft drinks and fruit drinks almost doubled.

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In addition, researchers found that milk intake dropped as the girls aged, while fruit drink and soft drinks intake remained relatively steady.

Results confirmed that girls who did not drink milk had inadequate intakes of vitamin A, folate, calcium, phosphorous and magnesium, all essential vitamins and minerals for healthy growth and development.

Encourage teens to choose milk as a beverage and include other sources of calcium such as yogurt and calcium-fortified juices and cereals.