A behavioral intervention among early adolescents improves bone mass; however, lactose maldigestion is still a barrier

Yu jin Lee, Purdue University


A targeted behavioral intervention to improve calcium intake and bone mass was conducted at middle schools in 5 states. The primary outcomes of bone mass and dietary calcium were assessed among Asian, Hispanic, or non-Hispanic white girls between 10 -13 y only. Lactose maldigestion (LM) was determined by breath hydrogen test (BHT). Perceived milk intolerance (PMI) and calcium intake were assessed by questionnaires and bone mineral content (BMC) was determined by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Data from 473 girls were used for multiple linear regression to examine impact of the intervention while accounting for PMI and LM and adjusting for covariates. During the intervention period, there was an attenuated reduction in dietary calcium intake in the intervention group, compared to the control group (-13 mg, -126 mg, respectively). From 0 to 18 months, a significant increase in total hip BMC was observed in girls in the intervention group. At the end of the intervention (12 months), dietary calcium consumption had increased among lactose digesters and decreased among lactose maldigesters. Additionally, significant increases in spinal BMC and total hip BMC were observed among lactose digesters compared to lactose maldigesters (p=0.01, p=0.04, respectively). A targeted behavioral intervention in middle-school aged girls significantly and positively influenced bone mass. However, the same results were not observed among the lactose maldigesters suggesting a need for additional targeted interventions.^




Dennis A. Savaiano, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Nutrition

Off-Campus Purdue Users:
To access this dissertation, please log in to our
proxy server