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                                                        DR. DAN PETERSON

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 Only 13.5 percent of girls and 36.3 percent of boys age 12 to 19 in the United States get the recommended daily amount (RDA) of calcium, placing them at serious risk for osteoporosis and other bone diseases, according to national statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Because nearly 90 percent of adult bone mass is established by the end of this age range, the nation's youth stand in the midst of a calcium crisis.
Osteoporosis is a pediatric disease with geriatric consequences in childhood.  With low calcium intake levels during these important bone growth periods, today's children and teens
 are certain to face a serious public health problem in the future.
 The health risks related to low calcium intake are not just years away. Children are :
bulletdrinking more soft drinks 
bulletdrinking more non-citrus drinks than they used
bulletmilk consumption has dropped
bulletnumber of fractures among children and young adults has increased,
bulletseeing the re-emergence of rickets, a bone disease

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 But the major effects of this crisis are yet to come. "As these children get older, this calcium crisis will become more serious as the population starts to show its highest rate of osteoporosis and other bone health problems
in our nation's history," Dr. Alexander said.  "But we need to remember that this is a preventable and "correctable" public health problem."
The Institute's Milk Matters campaign stresses low-fat or fat-free milk as the preferred source of dietary calcium because:
bulletMilk has a high calcium content.
bulletCalcium in milk is easily absorbed by the body.
bulletMilk contains other nutrients, including vitamin D,
vitamin A, B12, potassium, magnesium, and protein, that are
essential to healthy bone and tooth development.
bulletIf you don't drink milk, it's important to get calcium
from other sources, like other dairy products, green leafy
vegetables, and foods with added calcium

.The MILK MATTERS WEB SITE,, is also an excellent source for information on calcium
bullet"Why Milk Matters" -- explains why children and teens need calcium
bullet "Why Calcium" -- explains why calcium is so important
how much calcium children and teens need, and how physical
activity plays a role in building strong bones; also lists
foods that are sources of calcium and provides facts about
lactose intolerance and calcium supplements.
bulletKids & Teens" -- 
provides an interactive place for children and teens
to learn more about calcium.  It includes games, quizzes,
and other activities related to calcium and milk, as well
as fun ways to build strong and healthy bones and teeth

.For more information on the MILK MATTERS campaign, contact the NICHD Clearinghouse at 1-800-370-2943, or visit the campaign Web site at

Calcium Calculator

  1. Total calcium load at one time. Your body can best handle about 500 mg of calcium at one time, whether from food or supplements. Consume your calcium supplements and calcium foods throughout the day rather than all at one time.


  2. Time of day. If you take just one supplement, it's probably best to take it in the evening.   Try taking calcium carbonate at dinner time and calcium citrate before bed. This may enhance absorption and utilization.

Osteoporosis information.

Calcium intake levels in the United States: issues and considerations

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Tips to Help the Whole Family!
How to Get 3 - 4 Servings of Dairy Each Day

There’s more to milk, yogurt and cheese than calcium…

Dairy is naturally nutrient rich and a great source of calcium plus eight key nutrients that fuel your body, not just your bones.

It’s deliciously easy to get 3 - 4 servings of milk, yogurt or cheese every day:

Kick-start the day with a balanced breakfast – Include foods from at least three different food groups, such as an omelet with Cheddar cheese and diced vegetables, or cereal with milk and fresh fruit.

Snack smart – Stock the fridge with healthy, nutritious grab-and-go snacks like string cheese, portable yogurts and single-serve containers of milk.

Eat together – Family mealtime is a great time to model healthy eating behavior and to make sure your kids eat a balanced meal.

Don’t skip the dairy – Recent research finds that children who included calcium from dairy foods in their diet had lower body fat than children with lower dairy calcium intakes.1

Be a good role model – Children ages eight to 17 rank mom above sports celebrities, actors and actresses, and musicians as the most important influencer of their behavior. Set a good example and drink your milk, too!

Quick Snacks

These quick and easy snack recipes are great for you and your family’s on-the-go lifestyle.

Smoothie – combine 1 cup of milk or yogurt, fruit and ice cubes

Cheesy Popcorn – toss ¼ cup of tangy lowfat Colby cheese shreds with popcorn

Pretzel Wrap – roll a fat-free pretzel rod in 1 – 2 slices of reduced-fat Swiss cheese

Ham and Cheese Quesadilla – layer ¼ cup of shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack with slices of lean ham in tortillas

Cheddar Apple – wrap slices of reduced-fat Cheddar around apple wedges

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Sipping certain beverages might increase your risk of kidney stones.

A new study revealed that caffeine may cause calcium loss and increase the risk of developing kidney stones, particularly in people with a history of this problem. If you're interested in limiting your caffeine intake, try cutting back on coffee, tea, cola, chocolate, and coffee-flavored ice cream.

RealAge Benefit: Actively patrolling your health can make your RealAge as much as 12
years younger.

February 06, 2008


          If you have any questions please e-mail me at:
                                                                                 308-436-3491 Office number

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only.  It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of dental/medical care and is not a substitute for personal hands on dental/medical attention, diagnosis or treatment.  Persons requiring diagnosis, treatment, or with specific questions are urged to contact your family dental/health care provider for appropriate care.
This site is privately and personally sponsored, funded and supported by Dr. Peterson.  We have no outside funding.
Confidentiality of data including your identity, is respected  by this Web site. We undertake to honor or exceed the legal requirements of medical/health information privacy that apply in Nebraska.

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