Adults weighing less than 45kg are running a high risk of osteoporosis, say doctors Hong Kong women may fall victim to an epidemic of broken hips unless something is done to curb their obsession with slimming, according to experts in bone disease. Speaking ahead of today's World Osteoporosis Day, an international awareness day for the disorder that causes brittle bones, doctors pointed out that low body weight was a risk factor for the disease. And a survey showed that 45 per cent of local women did not know that low body weight posed such a risk. The survey of 526 women was carried out jointly by the Chinese University and the Watsons pharmacy chain between September 29 and October 12. Dicky Choy Tak-kee, physician in charge of the Jockey Club Centre for Osteoporosis Care at the Chinese University, said: 'We need normal body weight to keep our bones healthy and strong. If the body weight is too light it will not provide the bones with enough loading and bearing and it will give rise to bone disease such as osteoporosis. 'So we are worried about all these unhealthy fashion-related dieting and slimming promotions that will undoubtedly increase the risk of health problems such as osteoporosis.' Dr Choy warned that adults who weigh less than 45kg were at a high risk of the bone disease. However, the survey showed that 11 per cent of those interviewed weighed less than that. The survey showed that fewer than 10 per cent of respondents were taking supplements to prevent the bone disease. Edith Lau Ming-chu, director of the Jockey Club Centre for Osteoporosis Care, said more than 10 elderly people every day were admitted to hospital for treatment of fractured hips. She warned that the number of patients would increase drastically in the next 20 years if young people continued to underestimate the health risk of osteoporosis and ignore the impact of the slimming trend. Asia would account for half of the world's fractured hip cases, or 3.2 million cases, by 2050 if the issue was not addressed. She warned that bone fractures would increase the risk of death after patients became bedridden and developed complications. Other risk factors are smoking, drinking and early menopause. Women are dieting or using slimming products even when they are not overweight. The Hong Kong Eating Disorder Association surveyed more than 1,200 women and found 40 per cent had tried to lose weight, although only 17 per cent had weight problems. The association urged the government to stamp out misleading slimming advertisements.