A recent study has linked milk avoidance in children to increased risk of fractures. It was observed in the study that those children who avoided drinking milk regularly for years were more at risk of having fractures. The bone fracture rate was more than double the rate expected for normal kids of the same age.
In the study 50 children who avoided milk were compared to a group of 1000 children from the same city. The children who avoided milk did not take any calcium-rich food substitutes or supplements. The study showed that among the 50 children, 16 children suffered from a total of 22 fractures. All the fractures were reported before the age of 9 years and resulted from minor injuries (such as a minor trip or fall), which normally do not cause fracture.
Researchers say that children and adolescents need at least 3-4 servings of dairy foods daily to prevent fracture of bones and also avoid developing osteoporosis (a bone disease characterized by decreased bone mass and bone strength, making the bones vulnerable to fracture) later in life. However, children who did not drink milk took in only one-third of the recommended daily amount of calcium. Such decreased calcium intake results in weak and fragile bones, which are prone to get fractured even on the slightest injury.
Hence, to get adequate calcium it is essential to consume dairy foods (such as milk, cheese, yogurt), which provide three-fourth of the calcium in the diet of children and adolescents. These products contain nine essential nutrients, which are vital for strong bones, healthy teeth and a healthy body. Also many such products such as flavoured milks, yogurt snacks etc. are available in market and can be considered as alternatives.
To know the recommended dietary allowances for calcium click here