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Extreme teen fat loss link to osteoporosis

A recent study has shown that excessive weight loss in teenage years may increase the risk of osteoporosis in later years.

The study by a team at the University of Bristol, UK, involved 4,005 girls and boys with a mean age of 15.5 years. The evidence highlighted the importance of fat mass in building bone mass in teenage girls and suggested that that too little fat mass may increase the risk of osteoporosis later in life. The study showed a 70 per cent difference in girls compared to boys

Lead study author, Jonathon Tobias, said ‘The effect of fat mass on bone mass appears to be strongest in girls. Girls clearly have more fat mass than boys and our findings show that whereas the greater lean mass in boys contributes to their greater cortical bone mass, this effect is partly counteracted by the greater fat mass in girls’.

‘Fat mass in girls during puberty may have a long-term impact on bone health as they grow into adulthood. Excessive reduction in fat mass could have adverse effects on the developing skeleton particularly in girls, leading to an increased risk of osteoporosis later in life’ Tobias said.

Source: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism