Three of every four college-age women, whose bones are still developing, have low-calcium diets that contribute to lower bone mass, according to a North Carolina health researcher.
In a study of 90 women ages 18 to 24, including many college students, 75% had low-calcium diets and low bone mineral density, increasing their risk of osteoporosis later in life, according to Dr. John B. Anderson of the University of North Carolina Health Sciences Center.
Anderson's study revealed that high calcium consumers, those who met or exceeded three servings of dairy foods per day, achieved up to 20% greater bone mineral content than low-calcium consumers.
"Young women are very weight-conscious from adolescence onwards, and many of them substitute diet soft drinks for milk and dairy products," said Anderson, a professor of nutrition at the university. "Without dairy products, the major source of calcium is gone and the result is a calcium deficit."