Osteoporosis prevention should begin in childhood, experts advise

AUSTRALIA needs a stronger focus on osteoporosis prevention, with the push beginning in childhood, a summit of bone experts was told last week.

Participants at the meeting called by Osteoporosis Australia will develop new guidance for GPs and public health policymakers to emphasise the importance of weight-bearing exercise for bone health as well as calcium and vitamin D, experts said.

“The way to build up the bone bank is to focus on weight-bearing exercise like hopping, skipping and jumping a few times a week, integrated into the school day,” Osteoporosis Australia medical director Professor Peter Ebeling said.

Professor Ebeling, chair of the summit and head of endocrinology at Western Health, Melbourne, said weight-bearing exercise was vital around puberty to protect against later bone loss.

A draft Osteoporosis Australia white paper, Building Healthy Bones Throughout Life, said childhood and adolescence represented the