First, some basics.
Osteoporosis: A disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and an increased susceptibility to fractures, especially of the hip, spine, and wrist.
In other words, having osteoporosis means you have weak bones that'll break on you a whole lot easier than they should. Osteoporosis is responsible for more than 1.5 million fractures each year. That's a lot. What's more, up to 1/3 of hip fracture patients die within one year of their fracture, and up to 75% never walk independently again (1). Obviously, the vast majority happen to older adults. But it may be your bone health in your 20s that best predicts your bone health in your 70s. Why? Peak bone mass.
|Top line = men, bottom line = women|
Peak bone mass is just what it sounds like: the point in life at which you have the thickest, densest, healthiest bones. And that point is in your late 20s. After that, it's very difficult/impossible to build more bone mass, and so it slowly declines into old age. Key point... the more bone mass you can develop in your 20s, the more you'll have to work with when you're older. It's never too early to start. How do you do that? You ask and I answer...