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E. What Young Women Should Know about Maintaining Healthy Bones

Narrator: This is Science Today. Young women may hear the words osteoporosis or low bone density and think these medical conditions are not something they have to worry about now. But Deborah Sellmeyer, director of the University of California, San Francisco's Bone Density Clinic, says the teenaged years are a crucial time to be focusing on good nutrition.

Sellmeyer: It seems like a very distant thing at that time. But that's an extremely important time to have good nutrition, especially calcium and good overall nutrition. And it's something that's tough to get young girls to do because they're worried about how much fat is in milk and they're worried about fitting in with everybody and if everybody's drinking soda and having pizza every day, that's what you're going to do if you're a teenager.

Narrator: But Sellmeyer encourages young women to begin thinking about their adult health by getting proper nutrition and being active, so their bone density levels will be at optimal levels in the future.

Sellmeyer: Bone density stays level throughout your sort of middle years and starts trailing off a little bit probably in your mid to late thirties. And then once you hit menopause for women, that's when we start to see an increased rate of loss.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.