• eating attitudes;
  • dietary calcium;
  • bone density;
  • puberty;
  • prospective;
  • girls


This 2-year prospective study examined associations among bone mineral acquisition and physical, maturational, and lifestyle variables during the pubertal transition in healthy girls. Forty-five girls, initially 10.5 ± 0.6 years, participated. Body composition and bone mineral content (BMC) at the spine and total body (TB) were assessed at baseline and annually thereafter using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Nutrient intakes were assessed using 3-day diet records and a calcium food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), physical activity by questionnaire, sexual maturation using Tanner's stages of breast and pubic hair maturation, growth by height and weight, and eating attitudes using the children's Eating Attitudes Test (Children's EAT). Mean children's EAT subscale scores (dieting, oral control [OC], and bulimia) were stable over time. Median split of OC subscale scores was used to form high and low OC groups. Groups had similar body composition, dietary intake, activity, and Tanner stage at baseline and 2 years. Using height, weight, and Tanner breast stage as covariates, girls with low OC scores had greater TB BMC at baseline (1452 ± 221 g vs. 1387 ± 197 g; p = 0.030) and 2 years (2003 ± 323 g vs. 1909 ± 299 g; p = 0.049) and greater lumbar spine (LS) BMC at 2 years (45.2 ± 8.8 g vs. 41.2 ± 9.6 g; p = 0.042). In multiple regression analysis, OC score predicted baseline, 2 years, and 2-year change in TB and spinal BMC, contributing 0.9-7.6% to explained variance. Calcium intake predicted baseline, 2 years, and 2-year change in TB BMC, explaining 1.6-5.3% of variance. We conclude that both OC and habitual calcium intake may influence bone mineral acquisition.