Kids Breaking More Bones
CA, 23 March 2004
Source: California Milk Processor Board
has been a troubling rise in the number of children arriving at
emergency rooms and doctor's offices with broken bones. According
to a new study of pediatricians and orthopedic surgeons released
today, more than 40% of doctors have observed an increase in fractures
among young people under 18. This finding is corroborated by two
other medical studiesincluding a recent Mayo Clinic studywhich
found the rate of broken arms has climbed by more than 50% in girls
and 30% in boys since 1970.
used to be bruises are more likely to be breaks nowadays," says
Dr. Celia Brown, MD. "Kids just aren't developing adequate bone
Say Soft Drinks Poor Substitute for Milk
half of doctors (46%) surveyed in this most recent study think substituting
soft drinks for milk is an important cause. Forty-two percent of
doctors cited low milk consumptionand inadequate calcium intakefor
the increase in broken bones among kids. The rise in popularity
of sportslike skateboarding and soccerwas also considered
to be a factor.
happens in the first 20 years of life is critical for building bone
mass," continues Dr. Brown. "It's vital that kids get enough calcium
from real foods, like milk, early on."
the last 20 to 30 years, there's been a shift away from milk as
the standard drink at meals. Government studies show an alarming
86% of teen girls and 64% of teen boys aren't getting enough calcium
dailylacking the equivalent of four glasses of milk per day.
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
calls it a "calcium crisis." They stress that low or fat-free milk
is the preferred calcium source because :
has a high calcium content.
in milk is easily absorbed by the body.
contains other nutrients, like vitamin D, A, B12, potassium and
magnesiumall essential to healthy bone development.
or two milk servings every day simply isn't enough," stresses Dr.
Brown. "Parents must be willing to fight the soda and junk food
battle and really insist children get enough milk and eat right.
doesn't have to be plain white milk out-of-a glass," says Dr. Brown.
"Hot chocolate, real milk-based smoothies, and soups made with milk
are just a few of the ways parents can get kids to drink more. And
we know they'll drink it if parents insist."
to this new medical study, there was near unanimity (95%) among
doctors about the importance of milk. This comes on the heels of
a study in New Zealand, recently published in the February issue
of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, which
found that kids who don't drink milk are at much greater risk of
breaking their bones than their milk-drinking counterparts.
survey was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation via the Internet
with 150 physicians in California, equally divided among pediatricians,
primary care physicians and orthopedic surgeons. The Greenfield
Internet Panel was used for the studyconducted January 6-14,
2004on behalf of the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB).
Dr. Celia Brown, MD
Celia Brown is a graduate of Cornell University, and UCLA Medical
School. She is Board Certified in Family Medicine. She currently
practices in Woodland Hills, California where she does general Family
Medicine and cosmetic dermatology. Dr. Brown teaches on the UCLA
clinical faculty. She is author of a book of general medical tips
for the public, entitled Doctor's Little Book of Answers.
Goulding A, et al. "Children Who Avoid Drinking Cow's Milk Are at
Increased Risk for Prepubertal Bone Fractures." Journal of the
American Dietetic Association. 2004; 104(2):250-253.
Milk Processor Board.