ANNOUNCER: Academy Award winner Sally Field is taking on a new role: helping to raise awareness about osteoporosis. She's hoping her personal battle will inspire baby boomers to protect their bone health.
SALLY FIELD: You really have to aggressively want your health, I think, as you move into this chapter of your life. I don't think you can take your health for granted any more.
ANNOUNCER: Ms. Field was recently diagnosed with the bone-thinning disease that affects an estimated 10 million people in the United States, most of them women.
Because bone loss occurs without symptoms, the first sign is often a fracture. After she was diagnosed, Ms. Field felt very fragile.
SALLY FIELD: When I would hike, there was always a part of the hill I would run down. It was really fun and it's kind of dirt and gravel, and I wasn't doing it because I thought, "Boy, you know, if I slide out from the gravel and fall on my butt, I will break my back."
ANNOUNCER: Now Ms. Field is helping a pharmaceutical company educate the public about osteoporosis. She is urging other boomers to get a bone density test and to follow five simple steps to protect themselves.
-Eat a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D -Do weight-bearing exercise to build strength -Avoid smoking and too much alcohol -See their doctor regularly -And if they are on osteoporosis medication, stick to it.
SALLY FIELD: That means you have to commit yourself to owning this part of your life in an upright state. Let everything else fall apart, but your bones are going to be great.
ANNOUNCER: Thanks for joining us on today's Once Daily.