mythbuster graphic It may come as no surprise that most children and teens will choose soft drinks over milk when given a choice. This is unfortunate, since milk and other calcium -rich foods are especially important during the bone-building years of childhood and adolescence. Lower bone mineral density in adolescence has been associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis later in life, especially in girls. This has led many public school educators to follow the advice of school nutritionists and replace soft drinks in school vending machines with milk, water, and 100% fruit juices. Will this really help young girls build stronger bones?

There have been many research studies on dietary intake and its relation to the bone health of young girls, the results of which have been mixed. But overall, it seems reasonable to conclude that school-age girls who drink a lot of carbonated soft drinks are increasing their risk of osteoporosis.