SDSU Logo According to a recent research held in the South Dakota State University (SDSU) a child with leaner body mass or muscle is believed to build larger bones as compared to the child who although weighs the same but has a larger percentage of fat.

An associate professor in SDSU’s College of Nursing, Howard Wey and professor Bonny Specker, director and chair of the Ethel Austin Martin Program in Human Nutrition at SDSU were believed to be in the midst of unraveling this mystery. Specker and her team were noted to have assessed the rural Hutterite children in South Dakota by taking samples of their bone and body composition measurements.

Supposedly, two to three measurements were believed to have been collected over a 36-month period from about 150 male and about 200 female Hutterite children between the age group of 8 to 18.

Over the three year period, the project is believed to have tracked the routine life of a huge group of subjects in order to assess how it affects the bone density in the three sections of people namely, the Hutterites, rural non-Hutterites, and non-rural non-Hutterites.

Wey states that, “A larger child is going to have larger bones just because he’s heavier. But if you have two kids at the same weight, the one whose weight is dominated by fat mass is more likely to have smaller bones than the one whose weight is dominated by lean mass. Smaller bones are weaker than larger bones.”

Supposedly, Wey further observed that children showed an increase in their bone mass, area and density since they are growing up, but at the same time they were believed to also show differences in the rates of change.

On the basis of the observation Wey added that, “We looked at multiple measurements over time. We found that lean mass had a positive effect on rates of change. Kids with higher lean mass, or muscle, tended to have greater rates of change, and kids with higher fat mass tended to have lower rates of change.”

The reason that this research was conducted was to have a broader outlook at the differences in how fat mass and lean mass may correlate with the development of the bone.

Thus this research is believed to have stated that lean mass may possibly have a positive effect on the bone. Having said this, Wey also stated that although the observations may be preliminary, they are believed to be quite reliable.

The SDSU research is apparently expected to give some extra input on what the scientists already know about the development of the bone. Therefore, it’s said that they may be of help in forming important strategy as to how diet and exercise may help in dealing with different health issues such as childhood obesity and osteoporosis.

This research directed by Specker is stated to be a derivative of the continuing South Dakota Rural Bone Health Study. The National Institutes of Health is financing and the Ethel Martin Endowed Program in Human Nutrition are supporting this ongoing research.

This research was presented in the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Baltimore.