British Journal of Nutrition

Research Article

UK Food Standards Agency Optimal Nutrition Status Workshop: environmental factors that affect bone health throughout life

Lynn Burnsa1 c1, Margaret Ashwella2, Jacqueline Berrya3, Caroline Bolton-Smitha4, Aedin Cassidya5, Matthew Dunnigana6, Kay Tee Khawa7, Helen Macdonalda8, Susan Newa9, Ann Prenticea4, Jonathan Powella10, Jonathan Reevea7, Simon Robinsa11 and Birgit Teuchera12

a1 Food Standards Agency, Aviation House 125 Kingsway, London WC2 6NH, UK

a2 Ashwell Associates, Ashwell Street, Ashwell, Hertfordshire SG7 5PZ, UK

a3 Vitamin D Research Group, The Medical School, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL, UK

a4 MRC Human Nutrition Research (HNR), Elsie Widdowson Laboratory, Fulbourn Road, Cambridge CB1 9NL, UK

a5 Unilever, Colworth House, Sharnbrook, Bedford MK44 1LQ, UK

a6 Department of Human Nutrition, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow G31 2ER, UK

a7 University of Cambridge, Clinical Gerontology Unit, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge CB2 2QQ, UK

a8 University of Aberdeen, Medicine and Therapeutics, Osteoporosis Research Unit, Woolmanhill Hospital, Aberdeen AB25 1LD, Scotland, UK

a9 School of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK

a10 Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Kings College London, Franklin Wilkins Building, 150 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NN, UK

a11 The Rowett Research Institute, Greenburn Road, Bucksburn, Aberdeen AB21 9SB, Scotland, UK

a12 Institute of Food Research, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich NR4 7UA, UK


The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) convened a group of expert scientists to discuss and review UK FSA- and Department of Health-funded research on diet and bone health. This research focused on the lifestyle factors that are amenable to change and may significantly affect bone health and the risk of osteoporotic fracture. The potential benefits of fruits and vegetables, meat, Ca, vitamins D and K and phyto-oestrogens were presented and discussed. Other lifestyle factors were also discussed, particularly the effect of physical activity and possible gene–nutrient interactions affecting bone health.

(Received December 17 2002)

(Revised February 17 2003)

(Accepted February 17 2003)


c1 *Corresponding author: Lynn Burns, fax +44 20 7276 8906, email