Fad diets and ‘health hacks’ put over 3 million at risk

Move away from dairy products is now a cause for national concern

 

The National Osteoporosis Society (NOS) is warning that the current eating habits of teenagers and young adults is a time bomb for bones and the time is running out for them to prevent permanent damage.

Dairy is an important source of calcium, vital in building bone strength when you are young.

A survey carried out on behalf of the NOS found that 70% of 18 – 35 year olds are currently, or have previously been, dieting.

It also revealed that, as a result, 20% had cut or significantly reduced dairy in their diet.

Alarmingly, the most common diet for those aged 25 and under was ‘clean eating’, which can see dieters eliminating whole food groups from their diet.

The survey also showed that under-25s are much more likely than any other age group to be following health, diet or nutrition bloggers on social media.

This has led to concern over the influence the fad eating regimes promoted on social media are having on teenagers and young adults, and the impact it could have on the future health of this generation’s bones.

The foundations of good bone health are built in early adulthood, usually before the age of 25.

Diet at this time plays a key part in protecting the future health of bones.

Cutting out food groups during this stage of bone development could put future bone health at significant risk, and specifically increase the risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become fragile and break easily.

Half of all women and one in five men develop osteoporosis after the age of 50. Broken bones, also known as fractures, caused by osteoporosis can be very painful and slow to recover from.

A poor diet for those in their teens and early twenties now could see a significant rise in the numbers of people suffering fractures and the complications associated with them in the future.

The charity is therefore calling on parents to speak to their children about the possible dangers to their bones and is offering support and tips on having a conversation with their children and grandchildren about getting calcium and vitamin D into their diet at the beginning of a major campaign called ‘A Message to My Younger Self’.

 

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