The Best Bones Forever! Campaign
Boys and girls ages 9-18 are in their critical bone-building years. By the time they reach age 18, they have developed almost all of their bone mass. Unfortunately, not enough children (girls in particular) get the calcium, vitamin D, and physical activity they need to build strong bones. Less than one in 10 girls gets the 1,300 milligrams of calcium they need every day. In addition, girls’ physical activity levels drop dramatically as they get older.
The goal of Best Bones Forever! is to increase calcium and vitamin D consumption and physical activity—habits that are important for a child’s overall health. The campaign focuses on fun and friendship and encourages girls to get active and choose bone-healthy foods. While Best Bones Forever! targets girls, the lesson plans, activities, and ideas on this page are designed for both girls and boys.
Learn how three community coalitions increased bone health knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors in their communities by incorporating Best Bones Forever! messages into their activities:
Integrating Bone Health Information Into Existing Health Education Efforts
Best Bones Forever! published findings from its Three-Community Study in the journal ICAN: Infant, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition (June 2013 issue). Read the abstract, download the manuscript, and use the tips to build bone health into your ongoing health education efforts.
Consuming recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D and participating in bone-strengthening physical activities during childhood and adolescence can help prevent osteoporosis. Both the Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis and the National Action Plan for Bone Health emphasized the importance of promoting bone-healthy behaviors during childhood and adolescence and integrating bone health information into other health promotion efforts. The Best Bones Forever! Three-Community Study enlisted community coalitions to (1) incorporate bone health information into community outreach and education activities and (2) implement BodyWorks, a nutrition and physical activity program for parents and daughters that was modified to include bone health content. Results indicated that the sites successfully exposed their communities to bone health information by integrating bone health messages into community outreach and education activities. Participants in the modified BodyWorks program showed significant improvements in most measures of bone health knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy, behaviors, and intentions. These findings suggest that incorporating bone health messages into related health promotion efforts around healthful eating and physical activity was both feasible and effective.
Download the original manuscript.
Strong Bones RN, RU?
Best Bones Forever! has partnered with the National Association of School Nurses and the National Osteoporosis Foundation to create a toolkit for school nurses. This comprehensive toolkit includes monthly activities, handouts for students and parents, and contests and events throughout the year.