Women Leaders Bone Health Initiative

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An event organized in New Delhi by the Arthritis Foundation of India (AFI) in association with IOF and Tetra Pak brought women achievers together to speak out against osteoporosis.

An event organized by the Arthritis Foundation of India (AFI) in association with IOF and Tetra Pak brought women achievers together to speak out against osteoporosis.

The women speakers delivered a strong message about the importance of nutrition and exercise in osteoporosis prevention. Participants included Neena Gupta, film and TV actor; Professor A.C. Amini, head of endocrinology of the AIIMS; Dr. Pratibha Jolly, principal Miranda House College; Ms. Rajni Patil, chairperson, Central Social Welfare Board; Mrs. Mrinal Pandey, senior journalist Hindustan; Ms. Margaret Walker, IOF policy manager; and Kelly Boucher, Tetra Pak partnership and training director.

Osteoporosis is a huge and serious threat in India. Despite the fact that some 25 million people are estimated to suffer from osteoporosis, the problem remains under-recognized.
Professor Amini emphasized the extent of the osteoporosis threat. “Indians are more at risk because of widespread chronic Vitamin D deficiency. Due to the pigment in our skin we need more sunlight exposure to generate the right amount of vitamin D. And most of us spend very little time in the sun because of our urban lifestyles.”

Speaking in support of bone health education in the Indian school curriculum, Dr. Sushil Sharma, chairman of the AFI, stated, “Our aim is to prevent pain, fractures, deformities and debilitation so that people have a better quality of life in the country. Including bone health in the curriculum will help a lot as girls reach their ‘peak bone mass’at 25. If they are informed about bone health, it will help them in their old age.”

The AFI has demanded that bone health be included in the government’s health agenda, an all-important step in combating the disease.

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