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Bone Health for Children and Adolescents: Implications for Client Counseling

Updated 2013

Over the past generation, fracture incidence in children has increased dramatically. A report published in 2003 in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that boys are 32% more likely, and girls are 56% more likely, to break a bone than their parents were in their youth. This course reviews the literature about bone health issues in children and adults, the current recommendations as reflected in 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the 2010 Institute of Medicine RDA for calcium and vitamin D. The course also includes practical suggestions for assessing calcium intake and physical activity and tips on how to encourage clients to change their lifestyle to improve their bone health.

For registered dietitians:

Suggested CDR learning codes: 2090, 3000, 3020, 4000, 4150, 4160, 6000, Level 2

How to take the course:

Bone HealthTake the course by first listening to the narrated slide show (30 minutes) then read the PDF with additional references and resources. If desired, you may take the post-test found on and receive 3 continuing education credits. Access to the narrated PowerPoint and the written materials is free, there is a small charge if you choose to take the posttest and get a CE certificate.

Bone Health for Children and Adolescents - narrated PowerPoint Presentation

Download this free PDF which contains the following:

  • 2010 Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D
  • Optimizing Bone Health in Children and Adolescents: Implications for Current and Future Health
  • Vitamin D: A New Look at an Old Vitamin
  • Client Handout: Eat Well, Be Active!
  • Client Handout: Vitamin D: What You Need to Know About the “Sunshine” Vitamin
  • Bone Health Assessment Tool
  • Health Professional Resources
  • Client Education Resources
  • Bibliography
  • Course Examination

The course is free to view and read. You may purchase the posttest from for CE credit.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe evidence linking diet and physical activity to bone health in children and adolescents.
  • Describe how fracture incidence in children and adolescents has changed over the last generation, and identify at least two possible explanations for this change.
  • Identify lifestyle and dietary factors that are related to suboptimal bone health.
  • Identify at least one way to better assess calcium intake and weight bearing activity with clients.