For the study, detailed measurements of 200 children enrolled in the Southampton Women's Survey were taken soon after birth and then again at ages six to seven years old. They assessed bone mineral density, shape and size of the tibia (the shin bone), and body composition and found a link between the amount of lean muscle and healthy bone development.
"Bone strength and size is important because they are significant factors in long term osteoporosis and fracture risk," Moon said. A ten percent increase in peak bone mass will delay the onset of osteoporosis by 13 years, Moon added.
The study was published in the journal Bone.