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Video: HHS Launches Best Bones Forever!

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced a new campaign, called Best Bones Forever!, designed to improve bone health and decrease the risk of osteoporosis. Research shows that bone fracture rates are increasing, and few adolescent girls get the recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D -- the building blocks for strong bones.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to:

(Photo: )

Osteoporosis is often called a "pediatric disease with geriatric consequences." Childhood and adolescence are the key windows of opportunity for building strong bones and warding off the disease. In girls, close to 90 percent of bone mass is built by age 18. Girls, in particular, are at greatest risk for bone problems. Osteoporosis is four times more common in women than men, and adolescent girls consume calcium and participate in physical activity at lower rates than boys. The new campaign empowers girls ages 9 to 14 to build the best bones forever!

"We want girls to know that if you're older than nine, now's your time!" said Secretary Sebelius. "Building strong bones now will help you stand tall for a lifetime."

HHS recommends girls look for foods with calcium and vitamin D, which is necessary to help bones absorb calcium. One recent study found 70 percent of kids in the U.S. had below-normal levels of vitamin D, with deficiencies increasing as kids age from childhood to adolescence. The federal government recommends that girls over 9 consume 1300 mg of calcium per day because at that approximate age they are entering a period of rapid bone growth. The guidelines for physical activity for kids are 60 minutes daily, including three days of bone-strengthening activity.

The new campaign embraces an issue close to every girl's heart: friendship. Best Bones Forever!, developed by the HHS' Office on Women's Health (OWH), urges girls and their BFFs (best friends forever) to 'grow strong together, and stay strong forever.' Research shows that girls whose friends like milk are more likely to have higher calcium intake. Similarly, physical activity also gets a boost among girls whose friends have positive attitudes toward sports.

To view the full press release, click on the multimedia link above or visit the campaign site at:

SOURCE Office of Women's Health
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