There was a study done through Beth Israel medical Center that found that 27% of the sample of young boys enrolled in a yeshiva high school already had osteoporosis of the lower spine!
The study looked at calcium intake, sunlight and exercise as important components of strong bones.
What can we do as nurses in the community to improve this sad finding?
I did also receive a "Kosher Koupon" for a discount at www.fityid.com an exercise/work-out space for observant children/teens, including modest dress, separation of gender by times of use of the facility, etc. The facility is in Flatbush, Brooklyn near Avenue M.
As far as 'what can we do'? The first answer is education. Aggressive, in your face education. We first have to break the barrier of total ignorance about such issues, beginning with community rabbanim, school administrators, etc.
It isn't enough to just say 'ushmartem meod...'. We have to show consequences of neglect, suggest solutions, and show how easy those solutions can be.
I found you have to be this aggressive about all aspects of health education. From smoking to weight loss. I know it isnt easy but we have to get the message at least for the next generation. My greatest peeve- the nay sayers who defend smoking and unhealthy eating. (getting on my soapbox here). My husband lost a ton of weight for health reasons and I wish I had a penny for all those out there who try tempting him with cakes, sweets and the like. " Oh, I wont tell your wife", " you have to eat something" , "its only one piece", "you cant live your life this way",etc,. Would they offer drugs or alcohol to a former addict? Or I love the "My grandfather smoked a pack a day till he died at the age of 100+...we have good genes" (but do you want to know how many others suffered from second hand smoke complications thanks to the pack a day habit etc.) I often repeat this 'vort'- why does it say "Unishmartem" (in plural), wouldnt it have been enuf to say"unishmarta" (singular) but since we are all "araivim zeh lazeh" we do have to take responsibility to educate and encourage good health habits on all fronts- and I agree with medic, we have to be proactive... To the naysayers I answer, i wish I could make a perfect world that would allow us brownies for breakfast, and couch potato-ing all evening, but we know better than that now.