Clean Eating is a Ticking Timebomb That Puts Young at Risk of Fractures
A cult of clean eating is a “ticking time bomb” that could leave young people with weak bones, the National Osteoporosis Society has warned.
Research by the charity shows that four in ten of those aged between 18 and 24 have tried such regimes, which are now coming under attack for cutting out major food groups, such as dairy.
The diets have become increasingly fashionable, and are associated with a number of celebrities, who have boasted how they have cut out gluten, dairy, grains and refined sugars.
But the charity said many of those following the trends had no idea that cutting out major food groups could jeopardise their long-term health, with bones still developing in early adulthood.
Dairy - a major source of calcium, which protects the bones - was one of the key food groups targeted.
In total more than 20 per cent of those aged between 18 - 24 had cut or severely restricted intake of milk or cheese.
Experts said the trends were putting the generation at significant risk of developing osteoporosis - a condition that causes bones to become fragile and break easily - in later life.
Professor Susan Lanham-New, Clinical Advisor to the National Osteoporosis Society and Professor of Nutrition at the University of Surrey, says: “Diet in early adulthood is so important because by the time we get into our late twenties it is too late to reverse the damage caused by poor diet and nutrient deficiencies and the opportunity to build strong bones has passed.”
Half of all women and one in five men develop osteoporosis after the age of 50. Broken bones, also known as fractures, caused by osteoporosis can be very painful and slow to recover from.
A poor diet for those in their teens and early twenties now could see a significant rise in the numbers of people suffering fractures and the complications associated with them in the future.
Professor Lanham-New said: “Without urgent action being taken to encourage young adults to incorporate all food groups into their diets and avoid particular ‘clean eating’ regimes, we are facing a future where broken bones will become just the ‘norm’.
“We know that osteoporosis is a painful and debilitating condition and young adults have just one chance to build strong bones and reduce their risk of developing severe problems in later life.”