Teens short on calcium


There's a "calcium crisis" among teen-agers, according to health and nutrition experts.

Nearly nine out of 10 girls and seven of 10 boys get too little calcium. The National Academy of Sciences recommends 1,300 milligrams of calcium daily for teens -- the equivalent of four 8-ounce glasses of milk.

It's needed because 15 percent of adult height and half of all bone mass are added during the teen years. Blame soda for adolescents' calcium deficit: As teens have double or tripled their soda intake in the past two decades, their milk consumption has fallen by 40 percent.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest pegs boys' soda intake at 2 1/2 cans daily. For girls, it's 2 cans.

For "Clueless About Calcium," a free booklet with information, comparisons, recipes and tips for including more calcium in a teen-age diet, call 800-WHY-MILK (949-6455).

Pub Date: 06/06/99

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