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The impact of food and nutrient intake on bone from childhood to early adulthood



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Development of peak bone mass during childhood to early adulthood has been considered as a major determinate of risk of fracture and osteoporosis later in life. The purpose of this project was to determine the impact of food and nutrient intake on bone from childhood to early adulthood using mixed longitudinal data from the University of Saskatchewan Pediatric Bone Mineral Accrual Study (PBMAS). To determine the role of consumption of milk products and vegetable and fruit on the total body-bone mineral content (TB-BMC) accrual in boys and girls from childhood to late adolescence, seven-year longitudinal data were used. Using a multilevel modeling statistical approach containing major biological and environmental factors, vegetables and fruit intake, calcium intake and physical activity were significant independent environmental predictors of TB-BMC in boys. Change in the pattern of beverage intake of adolescents as a major component of nutrition transition has aroused health concerns such as obesity, tooth decay, and inadequate bone accrual. Beverage consumption and its relationship with calcium intake of grade 9 students from 1991 to 2004 was evaluated. Percent contribution of milk to total beverage intake was significantly decreased in boys and girls. A significant negative association between milk intake and consumption of non-carbonated soft drinks was observed in both genders. In girls only, a significant negative trend in calcium intake was observed over time. Milk products, specifically fluid milk, were the major source of dietary calcium from childhood to early adulthood in both genders. There was a substitution of fluid milk by cheese, a decrease in vegetable and fruit intake, and the low intake of vitamin D in young adults, specifically females. The effect of food and nutrient intake, measured at young adult age and previously in peri-adolescence, on bone mass was investigated. In males, the intake of calcium from peri-adolescence to early adulthood was sustained, whereas in females, there was a significant decrease. Height, weight, protein intake, physical activity and gender were the significant predictors of bone measures only in young adults who had consistent calcium intake from peri-adolescence. Collectively, the results of this study present the bone protective nutrients and food groups from childhood to early adulthood in our cohort. The food choices and dietary habits of the cohort change by age, but not in the favour of bones, with females more at risk. To prevent risk of osteoporosis, there should be promotion of a healthy dietary plan, not a single food group or nutrient, accompanied with an adequate level of physical activity.



Bone mineral accrual, Food, Nutrient



Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)






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