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Supporting information and photos include:

Photos taken at the Beauty and the Bones press conference

Photos and biographies of beauty queens

Photos and biographies of other speakers

IOF Beauties and The Bones event agenda
(PDF, 33 KB)

IOF Asian Media Seminar event agenda
(PDF, 29 KB)

Speakers Quote Sheet
(WORD, 60 KB)

Beauty Queens’ Quotes
(WORD, 115 KB)

Osteoporosis fact sheet
(PDF, 43 KB)

Exercise fact sheet
(PDF, 50 KB)

Key messages
(PDF, 30 KB)

Images of normal versus osteoporotic bone

Exercise report: Move it or Lose it

Osteoporosis Song by Erika Ender

This press release
(WORD, 73 KB)

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Role of exercise and proper nutrition in building strong bones stressed by seven title-holders in Bangkok event, experts warn of impending osteoporosis crisis in Asia

BANGKOK, Thailand
September 27, 2005

Seven beauty queens from four continents today appealed to girls and young women to realize that modern ideas of “beauty” can damage their bones and lead to osteoporosis later in life.

The women, from Australia, Austria, Panama, Thailand, Turkey and Venezuela, were speaking at “Beauties and the Bones”, an event organized by International Osteoporosis Foundation – IOF.

Speaking movingly of their own experiences, the women, who won their titles between 1972 and 2003, noted that many pre-teenage and teenage girls worldwide have an obsession with beauty at the expense of health. The beauty queens pointed out that the standard of beauty, even for beauty queens, is changing. They urged women and men of all ages to take responsibility for their bone health, to recognize that while beauty is partly physical it is also made up of inner beauty that includes respecting one’s health and behavior.

Medical specialists from IOF noted that with Asia’s aging population, it is expected that the burden of osteoporosis will increase dramatically if no preventive action is taken

Dr Khunying Kobchitt, president of the IOF member society Thailand Osteoporosis Foundation, and professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand remarked that osteoporosis is already a huge health problem in Asia, and getting more serious every day—in 45 years (by 2050), one out of every two fractures in the world will occur in Asia. All women and men should take immediate action to review their life styles and take the IOF One Minute Osteoporosis Risk Test.

Maximum bone development takes place in girls and boys roughly between ages 11-17. By building peak bone mass during this period, young people “invest in their bones” and reduce the risk of fracture later in life, noted Professor Ghassan Maalouf, an IOF Board member from Lebanon who spoke about the importance of proper diet (including adequate calcium and vitamin D), and sufficient exercise, in building bone strength and mass. He also pointed out that certain lifestyle activities, such as eating disorders, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, can be detrimental to bone health.

The “Beauties and the Bones” event is part of the lead-in to World Osteoporosis Day 2005, celebrated worldwide on October 20, which this year features the theme “Move it or Lose it – the role of exercise in building strong bones”. The theme for World Osteoporosis Day 2006 will be “Bone Appetit-the importance of nutrition in bone health”.

Osteoporosis, in which the bones become fragile and break easily, is one of the world’s most devastating and common chronic diseases. It strikes one in three women over 50 worldwide (more than breast cancer) and one in five men (more than prostate cancer).

At a related media seminar, IOF released a new publication “Move it or Lose it” which looks at the impact of weight-bearing exercise on building strong bones. Professor Helmut Minne, an IOF Board member and author of the report, noted that, among many dramatic conclusions, in girls the bone tissue accumulated during the ages of 11-13 roughly equals the amount of bone lost during the 30 years following menopause. Also, in one study, the most physically active young girls gain about 40% more bone mass than the least active girls of the same age. “Older people also benefit,” he noted, pointing out that “exercising your back during middle-age can help prevent the vertebrae from weakening or fracturing when people get older.

The “Beauties and the Bones” event was held in conjunction with the biennial IOF World Wide Conference of Osteoporosis Patient Societies. This event, also held in Bangkok, marks the first time that such a gathering has taken place in Asia. Some 200 delegates from IOF member national osteoporosis societies in more than 50 countries are expected to attend.

“It is particularly important that we are meeting in Bangkok because the number of people suffering from osteoporosis is growing fastest in the Asian region,” noted IOF Chief Executive Officer Daniel Navid.

The “Beauties and the Bones” participants included:

Belinda Green. Miss Australia, Miss World 1972

Ulla Weigerstorfer Miss Austria, Miss World 1987

Justine Pasek Miss Panama, Miss Universe 2002

Chalida Thaochalee Miss Thailand 1998

Pavadee Vicheinrut Miss Thailand 1995, Mrs World 2003

Manolya Onur Miss Turkey 1976

Pilin Leon Miss World 1981

High resolution images of these events are available on the press section of the IOF website:
A Video News Release can be supplied upon request.

Notes to Editors:

Key Statistics

  • Approximately 1.6 million hip fractures occur each year worldwide, the incidence is set to increase to 6.3 million by 2050.i
  • According to World Health Organization (WHO), osteoporosis is second only to cardiovascular disease as a global healthcare problem and medical studies show a 50-year-old woman has a similar lifetime risk of dying from hip fracture as from breast cancer.ii
  • In Thailand. the number of hip fracture cases for men and women in Thailand is 114 and 289 per 100,000 populations 25

Interesting Statistics from IOF publication “Move It or Lose It”

  • The more hours a woman spent sitting per day, the higher her risk of hip fractures. Women who sit more than nine hours a day are 50% more likely to have a hip fracture than those who sit for less than six hours a dayiii
  • Among elderly people, participants who practiced tai chi had 50% lower rate of falling than controls.iv
  • Strengthening back muscles can reduce risk of vertebral fractures among postmenopausal women aged 58 – 75 years.v
  • Strong back muscles are significantly correlated with decreased risk of vertebral fractures and kyphosis vvi vii


Osteoporosis, in which the bones become porous and break easily, is one of the world's most common and debilitating diseases. The result: pain, loss of movement, inability to perform daily chores, and in many cases, death. One out of three women over 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures, as will one out of five men 1, 2, 3. Unfortunately, screening for people at risk is far from being a standard practice. Osteoporosis can, to a certain extent, be prevented, it can be easily diagnosed and effective treatments are available.

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is the only worldwide organization dedicated to the fight against osteoporosis. It brings together scientists, physicians, patient societies and corporate partners. Working with its 170 member societies in 84 locations, and other healthcare-related organizations around the world, IOF encourages awareness and prevention, early detection and improved treatment of osteoporosis.

  1. Melton U, Chrischilles EA, Cooper C et al. How many women have osteoporosis? Journal of Bone Mineral Research, 1992; 7:1005-10
  2. Kanis JA et al. Long-term risk of osteoporotic fracture in Malmo. Osteoporosis International, 2000; 11:669-674
  3. Melton LJ, et al. Bone density and fracture risk in men. JBMR. 1998; 13:No 12:1915

International Osteoporosis Foundation 2005 Osteoporosis Journalism Awards
These awards recognize outstanding print reporting about osteoporosis. With prizes of USD 17,000, the closing date for award entries is January 31, 2006. For more information please go to IOF website journalism award.

For more information on osteoporosis and IOF please visit:

For media enquiries:

In Asia:
Dorothy Yiu
Weber Shandwick Worldwide
Tel: +852 2533 9910 / +852 9302 9059

In Europe:
Paul Spencer Sochaczewski, or Janice Blondeau
International Osteoporosis Foundation:
Tel. +41 22 994 0100

  1. Cooper C, Campion G and Melton LJ, 3rd (1992) Hip fractures in the elderly: a world-wide projection. Osteoporos Int 2:285.
  2. “Boning Up On Osteoporosis”, India Times, 2004
  3. Pfeifer M. Sinaki M, Geusens P, Boonen S, Preisinger E, Minne HW for the ASBMR Working Group on Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation. (2004) Musculoskeletal rehabilitation in osteoporosis: a review. J Bone Miner res 19:1208-1214
  4. Wolff SL, et al., Atlanta FICSIT Group 1996 Reducing frailty and falls in older persons: An investigation of tai chi and computerized balance training. J am Geriatr Soc 44:489-497
  5. Sinaki M, et al., 2002 Stronger back muscles reduce the incidence of vertebral fractures: A prospective 10 ear follow-up of postmenopausal women. Bone 30:869-841
  6. Itoi E, et al., 1994, Effect of back-strengthening exercise on posture in healthy women 49 to 65 years of age. Mayo Clin Proc 69:1054-1059
  7. Sinaki M, Lynn SG, 2002 Reducing the risk of falls through proprioceptive dynamic posture training in osteoporotic women with kyphotic posturing: A randomized polot study. Am J hys Med Rehabil 81:241-246

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