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What It's All About

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bak choy

Anorexia nervosa — serious eating disorder in which the person fears weight gain and may starve himself or herself.

Bok choy — also called "Chinese cabbage," a green leafy vegetable that contains calcium.

Bone bandits — items or behaviors that may increase a person's risk for osteoporosis.

Bone density — also known as "bone mineral density," the degree of strength of the inside of the bones.

Bone mass — another term for bone density; the degree of strength of the inside of the bones.

Bone-strengthening activity — any activity that produces a force on the bones and promotes bone growth and strength. This force is produced most often by impact on the ground in activities like running and jumping.

Calcium — a mineral that helps to form bones and keeps them hard and strong. Most of the calcium in the body is stored in bones and teeth. The remaining calcium is contained in body tissues, blood, and other body fluids. Calcium can be found in some foods and drinks.

Calcium phosphate — a mineral (nutrient essential for good health) that makes bones hard.

Calorie — a measure of energy from food. Typically, girls need 2,000 to 2,200 calories each day, but this number varies depending on height, weight, age, and level of activity.

Cholesterol — soft substance the body makes and gets from food; too much cholesterol can clog your arteries and lead to heart disease.

Collagen — a protein that is like a soft framework for bones.

Crohn's disease — disorder that causes swelling of the digestive tract, causing pain and frequent diarrhea.

Dietary supplement — a product taken by mouth that contains one or more ingredients (like calcium or vitamin D.)

Fortified — to strengthen or add nutrients, for example, by adding vitamins to foods; many foods are now fortified with calcium and other vitamins and minerals.

International units — an internationally agreed-upon unit used to measure the effect of many vitamins and drugs.

Lactose — sugar found mainly in milk and milk products.

Lactose intolerance — a in which the body does not easily digest foods that contain lactose, which is the natural sugar found in dairy products. People who are lactose intolerant have a shortage of enzymes that break down lactose into sugars. Common symptoms include nausea, cramps, bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

Menopause — occurs when the menstrual cycle permanently ends, usually by the late 50s.

Milligram (mg) — a unit of measure used to show the amount of calcium and other vitamins and minerals in foods. There are 1,000 milligrams in a gram. One cup (8 ounces) of milk contains 300 milligrams of calcium.

Mineral — a nutrient essential in small amounts for good nutrition and health. Examples of minerals include calcium, iron, potassium, sodium, and zinc. Like vitamins, the best way for minerals to enter the body is through food.

Nicotine — the drug in tobacco leaves. Whether someone smokes, chews, or sniffs tobacco, he or she is delivering nicotine to the brain. Each cigarette contains about 10 milligrams of nicotine. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 3.5 million teens between the ages of 12 and 17 use tobacco.

Nutrient — a valuable substance in food that a person requires to live, grow, or remain fit and healthy.

Nutrition Facts Panel — also known as a "food label" or "nutrition label," this label on food packages lists the nutrients in a food or drink, such as vitamins, minerals, and other components such as calories, sugar, fat, and protein.

Osteoporosis — a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. These broken bones, or fractures, typically occur in the hip, spine, and wrist. Both men and women are at risk, but women are 2-3 times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis. Building strong bones during childhood can help prevent osteoporosis later in life.

Pasteurized — this means that the product has been through a process called pasteurization, which heats milk to a high temperature to kill some types of bacteria.

Percent Daily Value (% DV) — the "% DV" on the Nutrition Facts Panel is a number that indicates if there is a lot or a little of a nutrient (like calcium) in a serving of food: 5% DV or less of a nutrient is considered low; 20% DV or more is high. If the label says, "Calcium 4%," that means one serving of the food has 4% of the calcium that a person needs in a day. However: (1) the percentage is calculated for an adult, who needs 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day and (2) girls need more calcium than most adults, so help them strive to get 1,300 milligrams of, or 130% DV for, calcium. Visit the FDA and Kids Health for Parents to read more about food labels.

Portion — a helping of food. Portions and servings are different. For example, "one cheese sandwich" is a portion (probably made up of two slices of bread and one slice of cheese).

Resistance activity — an activity that uses muscular strength to improve muscle mass and strengthen bone. Using resistance bands and weight training are examples of resistance physical activities.

Serving size — serving size, shown on a Nutrition Facts Panel (food label), is the amount of food that people typically eat. The information on a food label (such as calcium, vitamins, and fat) is for one serving. Serving sizes can be shown in different ways for different foods — "slices" of cheese or "ounces" of juice, for example.

Tofu — an Asian food made from soybeans. Tofu, if made with calcium sulfate (check the ingredient list), provides calcium and protein and often is a good source of vitamin D.

Toxins — poisonous substances found in chemicals or products such as cigarettes.

Type 2 diabetes — the most common form of diabetes; in type 2, the body either does not make enough insulin (a hormone that helps change sugar and food into the energy needed to live) or the cells ignore the insulin.

Vitamin — a nutrient essential in small amounts for good nutrition and health. Examples of vitamins include vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Like minerals, the best way for vitamins to enter the body is through food.

Vitamin D — The vitamin that helps your body use calcium. Vitamin D is often added to milk, yogurt, and some cereal and orange juice. You can also get it from canned tuna fish or salmon and sunlight.

Content last updated September 2009



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