That's Life: Calcium - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

That's Life: Calcium

If I asked you what's the most underrated food in the refrigerator what would you say? If you said milk, you're right. I think milk has gotten a bad rap.

You probably don't realize how important milk is to you in regard to calcium specifically. Let me tell you what the facts are. Most experts now agree that unless our children are drinking milk everyday they're not getting enough calcium. Here are the reasons why:

A child between the ages of 4 and 8 needs about 800 milligrams of calcium a day, a teenager needs about 1300 milligrams a day. So if you're not drinking milk, which has the highest concentration of calcium, you're not getting enough. Another statistic, girls who are 17 years old have already accumulated 95% of their total mineral content in their bones. That means that by 17 their bones had better have enough calcium. Do we fulfill those requirements? Only about 13% of boys and 30% of girls have amounts of calcium that are necessary. Dreadfully too low!

What we need to do in our schools and at home is to make sure our children get milk instead of soda. Studies have shown that if you have milk machines as opposed to soda machines, they both sell out because the kids will drink anything. So let's do something that's healthy for them.

Besides the bones, for us old guys, drinking milk and having calcium is also important because there's evidence to suggest it can prevent high blood pressure, colon polyps and even colon cancer.

The bottom line is to make sure our kids drink milk - and you too, or take calcium supplements - or both which is better. If you do that you're going to drink up and be merry.

I'm Dr David Vastola and that's life.

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