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"Invest in Your Bones" theme promoted by IOF's members in 64 countries, major youth report and education center launched

Nyon, Switzerland
October 20, 2001 – World Osteoporosis Day

If a child drinks plenty of milk will that prevent her or him from getting osteoporosis as an adult?

Not necessarily, according to a major new report published by IOF-International Osteoporosis Foundation. Calcium is essential for healthy bone development, but other factors also play important roles.

The report, "Invest in Your Bones", written by Jean-Philippe Bonjour, a member of IOF Committee of Scientific Advisers, and professor of medicine at University Hospital of Geneva, Switzerland, presents the latest information on bone development in young people.

"This is the first time that such information has been compiled for a general audience," notes IOF Chief Executive Officer Daniel Navid. "We expect to reach important new audiences with our education focus this year."

The report notes:

It is estimated that a 10% increase of peak bone mass in children reduces the risk of an osteoporotic fracture during adult life by 50%.

In girls, the bone tissue accumulated during the ages 11 to 13 approximately equals the amount lost during the 30 years following menopause.

A sedentary life style – too much TV, computer use – is bad for bone development. On the other hand, children and adolescents who exercise regularly show significant increase in bone mass.

Bone mineral mass gain in the spine increases five-fold during the ages 11-14 in girls and 13-17 in boys.

Avoiding tobacco use during adolescence is an efficient way of reducing the risk of osteoporotic fractures in later life.

The report was launched as part of a series of global activities taking place on or around World Osteoporosis Day, October 20, 2001.

The English and Spanish versions of the report will be launched in Mexico City by COMOP-the Mexican Committee for the Prevention of Osteoporosis; the Arabic version was launched in Beirut by LOPS-the Lebanese Osteoporosis Patients Society.

Introducing the report, Pierre D. Delmas, IOF president, noted "IOF's 124 member societies around the world give increasing attention to the question of education. Osteoporosis affects one in three women and one in eight men during their lives. It is essential to understand the facts and fallacies about how diet, life style and genetics affects bone development in young people."

In a World Osteoporosis Day message, IOF Patron Queen Rania of Jordan says "the foundation of osteoporosis is laid in the early years of childhood, but manifests itself later in life. Prevention begins early on, particularly among young girls who face greater risk as they grow older. Children who build strong bones are investing in their later bone health."

Other World Osteoporosis Day Activities

World Osteoporosis Day around the world

National osteoporosis societies around the world will host press conferences and produce special TV broadcasts in celebration of World Osteoporosis Day. Numerous community events will be held: a road race in South Africa, a public walk in Brazil, information distributed in shopping malls in Costa Rica and Lebanon, calcium-rich meals prepared by the best Austrian restaurants, and a celebrity-filled musical evening in Romania.

IOF Bone Education Resource Center

For the first time, the education campaigns of 21 IOF member and partners have been compiled on a single website. Countries represented: Australia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, India, Jordan, The Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, UK, United States.

Inter-active One Minute Risk Test

The easiest way to determine if you are at risk of osteoporosis is to take the One Minute Risk Test, available for the first time in inter-active form in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Turkish.

WOD video

IOF distributed a compilation of 17 video clips relating to osteoporosis from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Hong Kong, Hungary, Jordan, Mexico, Spain and the United States. Featured personalities: IOF Patron her Majesty Queen Rania (Jordan), former Governor Ann Richards of Texas (United States), world women's boxing champion Daniella Somers (Belgium), chef Martin Weiler (Austria), singer and actress Angelica Maria (Mexico),

Osteoporosis: A Photographic Vision by Oliviero Toscani

Noted Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani has prepared a major exhibition exclusively for IOF. The exhibition, which was launched October 19 in Rome, Italy at the Museo Pigorini in Rome, includes three parts – osteoporosis facts, three-meter tall nude photographs of 21 osteoporosis patients, and a "Video of Hope". The exhibition will travel to the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal and Hungary, among other European countries.

IOF is also launching the European Osteotour, a traveling bone density testing facility that will visit major European cities in 2001 and 2002.

Both activities are made possible by major sponsorship from the Alliance for Better Bone Health and other international and national sponsors. The European Osteotour and the Toscani exhibition is endorsed by various governmental institutions, IOF national societies, the Bone & Joint Decade; the International Council of Nurses, and others groups. The exhibition was originated by the German Green Cross, an IOF member society.

IOF-Alliance Osteoporosis Media Award

Journalists from Mexico and Spain won the first IOF-Alliance Media Awards, presented on October 19, in Rome, Italy. Alma America Torres, writing in Good Housekeeping Latin America, won the General Press category for her article "Silent and deadly", while Ann Graul and Lisa Sorbera from Spain won first place in the Medical category for their article "Osteoporosis" was published in Drug R&D Backgrounders. The media award will be repeated in 2002.

For more information please contact:

Paul Sochaczewski
IOF communications adviser

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