Florida Department of Health Recognazies May As Osteoporosis Prevention Month

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Steoporosis Prevention

The Florida Department of Health celebrates Osteoporosis Prevention Month throughout May.

It is a time dedicated to fighting this "silent disease" which thins and weakens bones and affects the health of more than 3 million Floridians.

"The pre-teen and teen years are an important time for young people to understand how eating calcium-rich foods can build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis later in life," Secretary Ana M. Viamonte Ros, M.D., M.P.H. said. "Learning smart eating habits early can lead to a lifetime of health."

The Florida Department of Health's Child and Adolescent Health Unit encourages osteoporosis prevention in children and young adults. Most children and teens do not meet calcium recommendations for their age group. National nutrition surveys show only 19 percent of teen girls and 52 percent of teen boys get the recommended amounts of calcium. Children from birth to six months need 210 mg per day, children 6-12 months need 270 mg, age 1-3 years need 500 mg, 4-8 year olds need 800 mg, and between the age of 9 and 18, children need 1,300 mg of calcium each day. Making sure young people get the calcium they need will help strengthen bones for adulthood. Regular physical activity also helps to strengthen bones.

Osteoporosis

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One out of two women over age 50 will develop osteoporosis.

One in eight men develop osteoporosis.

While people over 50 get osteoporosis most often, it is important to start preventing it when you are young.

The national cost of treating fractures is estimated at more than $13 billion each year.

Florida's share of this cost is estimated at approximately $325 million per year.

Osteoporosis doesn't have to be a major public health threat. Early detection is easy. The Department of Health advises Floridians to ask their doctor or health care professional if they should have a bone density scan to detect loss of bone mass. The scan is safe, quick and painless. Several treatment options are also available to treat osteoporosis.

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