Access to healthful food outlets improves bone mass in children, according to a study published in Osteoporosis International. Researchers monitored bone mineral density and content for 1,107 children in the U.K. as part of the Southampton Women’s Survey and compared those findings to the types of food outlets in the area. A pregnant woman’s exposure to fast-food restaurants was associated with lower bone mass and mineral content in their newborns, compared with those with less access to fast food. For every fast-food outlet, bone mineral content decreased in infants while every health specialty food store increased it in 4 to 6 year olds. This study shows that greater access to fruits, vegetables, and other healthful foods for both mothers and their children leads to better bone health throughout childhood and suggests that policymakers apply these findings to future urban planning.
- Vogel C, Parsons C, Godfrey K, et al. Greater access to fast-food outlets is associated with poorer bone health in young children. Osteoporos Int. Published online October 12, 2015.