A recent report claims children who drink more milk do not necessarily develop healthier bones. The report stresses exercise and a modest consumption of calcium-rich foods such as tofu as the key to strong bones.
Researchers say boosting consumption of dairy products is not necessarily the best way to provide the minimal calcium intake. They say other ways to obtain the absorbable calcium found in one cup of cow's milk include a cup of fortified orange juice, a cup of cooked kale or turnip greens, two packages of instant oats, two-thirds cup of tofu, or 1-2/3 cups of broccoli.
In a review of 37 studies examining the impact of calcium consumption on bone strength in children older than 7, researchers found 27 did not support drinking more milk to boost calcium. Several studies, which examined factors such as bone density and rate of fractures, concluded that exercise may be more important than increased calcium consumption in developing strong bones.
In an accompanying commentary to the report, pediatricians said the ideal way to achieve the goal of healthy bones is to make sure children exercise and consume their daily requirement of calcium. They claim the easiest way to get that calcium is from low-fat dairy products, which also contain valuable nutrients such as vitamin D, which is generally not available from other dietary sources.
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