This is related to some of the comments I read in some old posts on soy. On my last trip to Japan, I noted that an extremely high percentage of elderly women (age 70 or more) had osteoporosis. I found this strange since official studies state that osteoporosis is less common in Japan than the U.S. The official studies that I've seen have been with people around aged 60 or so. My first guess at the discrepancy is that it was caused by food shortages during the formative years of their lives (e.g. WWII and the period just preceding it). Living on rice alone (which is what many Japanese did at that time and what many peasants did for a long time prior) wouldn't be very good for producing strong bones, at any rate. Apparently having a good diet as children is far more important than anything we can do as adults to help our health, according to at least one recent study. That makes sense to me. My mother-in-law (age 85) said that she thought that osteoporosis was a much bigger problem in Japan than Taiwan, though it's an issue in Taiwan too. She attributes her own straight spine to taking a calcium pill every day. I think it's because she came from a wealthy landowning family some distance outside of Shanghai and had a very good diet as a child. It will be interesting to see if Asian women now in their 50's and 60's develop osteoporosis as they grow older. This "good childhood diet" theory makes me worry about the future of the U.S., by the way. It seems that the reason that Baby Boomers are in such good health on average is that they had good diets when they were kids. (I had a good diet too, but never mind that.) Not only do they live longer, they live healthier. Today's kids seem to have horrible diets, and so it seems to me they may have lots and lots of health problems (and cost the system huge amounts of money) as they get older. Which brings me to the immediate question of what I should give out for Halloween. It's certainly not going to be candy or coupons to fast-food restaurants. I hate to just not answer the door, but I will if necessary.