‘Bone Appetit’: a focus on osteoporosis

October 20 is World Osteoporosis Day. Every year to mark the occasion, the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) launches a new theme to help the public focus on the issues important to those living well with osteoporosis.

For the 2006-07 theme, the message is “BONE APPETIT” and is all about nutrition. To encourage healthy eating, Canadians will see nutrition-oriented posters through Osteoporosis Canada Chapters and Divisions. In addition, public service announcements and advertisements on television and in magazines (such as Reader’s Digest and Chatelaine) will help promote awareness of November as Osteoporosis Month.

The role of food and nutrition in building and maintaining strong bones is critical. And, while osteoporosis is a serious condition, individuals can take responsibility for their bone health by building strong bones through healthy lifestyle.

Following the ‘Exercise’ theme in 2005, the nutrition theme is the second in a three-year WOD “life style” campaign to get people to reduce their risk of having an osteoporosis fracture, and to reach a young, more energetic and “empowered” target auience.

Here are the key components of a “Bone Appetit” lifestyle:

• An adequate intake of calcium at all stages of life.

• Dairy foods, calcium-set tofu, some green vegetables, nuts and small canned fish with soft bones provide the most readily-available sources of dietary calcium.

• An adequate supply of vitamin D is required through sufficient exposure to the sun, diet or supplements.

• Adequate protein intake is also necessary. Protein malnutrition is an important risk factor for hip fracture and can also contribute to poor recovery in those who have had a fracture.

• Avoid excessive alcohol intake.

• Being underweight is also a risk factor for osteoporosis.

• Avoid smoking.

Fad diets that promise rapid weight loss should also be avoided. Too often these diets result in poor nutrition. Instead, include a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet – these are beneficial not only for bone health but also for overall health.

And be sure to include complementary lifestyle choices such as exercise and plenty of sleep for a healthy life and body.

Funny Bone
During the course of a fundraising dinner, a lady who was having a toothache saw her dentist, who was also invited to that dinner. She approached him complaining about the severe pain she had experienced the night before. After a short discussion, the dentist gave instructions on what to do.

Minutes later, the dentist, who was sitting with his lawyer at the same table, related to him what had happened.

The lawyer replied: “If I were you I would send her a bill for consultation”.

The following day, the dentist followed his lawyer’s instructions and sent the lady a bill in the amount of $50. And a week later, the dentist was shocked when he also received a bill – $500 from his lawyer for consultation fees.

Living well with osteoporosis
Remember: You can live well with osteoporosis with a program of healthy diet, appropriate exercise/activity, calcium and vitamin supplements and/or prescription drugs as directed by your physician. If you have a prescription, follow the directions.

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