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Read the passage below and answer the question that follows.

No one disputes that calcium is essential for building strong bones and teeth. Women, men and children need it. In fact, while the message about osteoporosis prevention and bone strength seems directed at older women, it is even more important to bolster calcium intake during childhood and adolescence, when there is rapid and significant bone growth, than it is when we are older and losing bone mass.

According to medical experts, humans build bone mass between age nine and 18. Ninety percent of it develops before age 20 and the rest by age 30. Thus, what we build then is most important because after that we can't build more bone mass. After the age of 30, we take in calcium just to maintain the bone strength.

That makes it critically important to begin a diet high in calcium as children and continue it throughout our lives. Children should be given calcium-rich food beginning at age four.

Unfortunately, available data indicates that most children older than eight don't get enough calcium, leaving them at risk for fractures or for developing osteoporosis in adulthood. It is recommended that doctors evaluate children for calcium intake three times during childhood -- at ages two to three, eight to nine and as teens -- by asking few questions about diet, milk consumption, the amount of exercise tey get and whether there is a family history of osteoporosis.

Guidelines by doctors recommended vitamin D supplements for breast-fed only babies and older children who don't get adequate amounts of vitamin D, either because they don't drink Vitamin D fortified milk or don't get enough sunlight. The human body needs 10 to 15 minutes per week of sun exposure to produce adequate vitamin D.

It is not always easy to get children to consume calcium rich foods. Some are allergic to dairy products which are the best source of calcium. some parents act before there is a problem and give soy formulas to their children.

Another obstacle is that when children become teenagers, parents don't have the same control over their diets as the latter are always trying to keep their weight down. Many stop eating breakfast where there is plenty of yoghurt and fresh food available and are exposed to a whole new level of tastes. A study showed that when children reach age 19, they are drinking three times more soft drinks and 25% less milk than they did as children. those who drank less milk had less calcium overall in their diets which contributes to osteoporosis at a later age.

In general, food that contain the most concentrated amounts of calcium are dairy products such as milk, yoghurt, cheese and ice-cream. There are also other good calcium sources: beans, tofu, canned salmon, almonds, sesame seeds, dried figs, broccoli, kale and some grains.

It is important to use products like calcium-enriched soy milk and calcium-fortified orange juice if they don't eat dairy products. Calcium supplements are important in calcium-poor diets. It is best to get your calcium needs through food intake, but when that is not possible, supplements can help make up what the diet lacks.

Whatever the dietary source of calcium, it must be absorbed properly for it to be beneficial. Some nutrients that interfere with calcium absorption are sodium, caffeine, too much protein, oxylates found in tea and high calcium food and phosphorus. Smoking, stress and lack of exercise may also contribute to the body not being able to absorb calcium effectively.

Exercise is important to prevent osteoporosis. Weight bearing exercise helps maximize bone strength by making bones and muscles work against gravity. Examples of weight-bearing exercises are walking, running, dancing, aerobics and skating.


Based on the passage given, write a summary about

* the importance of calcium

* why we are not getting enough calcium


Credit will be given for use of own words but care must be taken not to change the original meaning. Your summary must be in continuous form and not longer than 130 words, including the 10 words given below.


Begin your summary as follows :

"Humans need sufficient calcium to build strong bones and teeth ..."

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Humans need sufficient calcium to build strong bones and teeth. Calcium intake must be increased and is critical during childhood and adolescence, a period of rapid and significant bone growth. Ninety percent of bone mass is built before age 20 and after 30, calcium intake maintains bone strength. Calcium-rich food is vital but children above 8 get inadequate calcium placing them at risk for fractures. some children don't consume calcium-rich foods as they are allergic to dairy products, the best source of calcium. Some parents give soy formulas. weight-conscious teenagers stop eating calcium rich breakfast and consume copious amount of soft drinks leading to osteoporosis at old age. Calcium-enriched products, fortified drinks and supplements are important but certain nutrients, smoking, stress and lack of exercise interfere with calcium absorption.. ( 129 words )


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