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Kids need exercise and calcium

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BETHESDA, Md., Sep 29, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- British researchers say prepubescent children must combine exercise and calcium intake to maximize bone mass.

Scientists at the University of Wales and the University of Exeter, in a study summarized in the October issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology, considered the interactive effects of calcium intake and activity, especially ones that differentiate between the types of activity that most positively affect bone density.

Using food diaries and accelerometers, the researchers were able to track the behavior of 38 girls and 38 boys between the ages of 8 and 11.

They observed the synergistic effect of high levels of calcium intake and vigorous (as opposed to moderate or low-intensity) activity were the most effective in building and retaining bone mass.

Their evidence indicates children should engage in 25 to 40 minutes of vigorous activity and intake at least 700-800 milligrams of dietary calcium per day.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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