Of all the lifestyle strategies for increasing bone strength during the growing years, physical activity is one of the most efficacious. This commentary highlights two exceptional 2016 publications addressing bone strength in children and adolescents with an eye toward reduced fracture risk later in life. The first by Weaver et al. was selected due to its comprehensive approach to understanding bone development. The second by Mitchell et al explores a new field of inquiry, that is, genetic-environment interaction as represented by bone mineral density-lowering alleles and high-impact physical activity. It is a first look at future precision medicine as it may pertain to pediatric bone strength.
The author is with the Dept. of Health and Human Physiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.