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OC HIGH STUDENT NEWS AND VIEWS : No Bones About It

August 19, 1994| Reuter

Teen-agers who smoke, eat junk food and lie around watching television are increasing their risk of fragile bones, or osteoporosis, in later life, Finnish researchers say.

The researchers at a Helsinki hospital followed 264 boys and girls age 9 through 18 until they were 20 to 29, measuring bone mass and watching lifestyle factors.

Getting regular exercise and not smoking are important in achieving maximal peak bone mass in adolescents and young adults, the study showed.

Smoking greatly affected the bone mass of young men, while calcium intake affected it most in young women.

Osteoporosis, which causes elderly people to literally shrink, suffer broken bones and other health problems, is caused mostly by genetic factors. But 20% of cases are caused by lifestyle, the researchers said.

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