Weight-bearing activity during youth is a more important factor for peak bone mass than calcium intake

D C Welten, H C Kemper, G B Post, W Van Mechelen, J Twisk, P Lips, G J Teule

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In a 15 year longitudinal study (Amsterdam Growth and Health Study) is evaluated the effect of daily calcium intake (CAI) during adolescence and young adulthood on the development of peak bone mass at age 27 when the influence of weight-bearing activity (WBA) and body weight was accounted for. A group of 84 males and 98 females were measured longitudinally from age 13 until age 28. Measurements were taken six times of anthropometric characteristics. Lifestyle was also evaluated six times by cross-check interviews of CAI and WBA. Bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine was determined at age 27 by dual x-ray absorption. Three periods were considered, that is, the adolescent period, the period 13-21 years, and the total period (13-27 years). In multiple linear regression analyses, only WBA and body weight were significant positive contributors to the final model of lumbar BMD at age 27. In all three periods WBA was the best predictor in males and body weight in females. ANOVA was performed on BMD and the highest and lowest quartiles of calcium intake with the significant predictor variables of the linear regression model as covariates. Again calcium intake appeared not a significant predictor of BMD in the three periods in both sexes. Regular weight-bearing exercise and at least a normal age-related body weight in adolescence and young adulthood are of key importance in reaching the highest lumbar peak bone mass at the age of 27 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1089-96
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of bone and mineral research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1994


  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Bone Density
  • Calcium, Dietary/administration & dosage
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Lumbar Vertebrae
  • Male
  • Regression Analysis
  • Weight-Bearing

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