A recent study using the photon absorption technique has revealed a high frequency of significant bone loss in diabetic adults regardless of age or duration of diabetes. In this study 107 diabetic children age 4-18 were studied using cortical bone thickness and skeletal maturation as indicators of bone development. Overall, 25% of all diabetic children had cortical thickness values below the five percent limit for normal children. This was more common in boys than girls and was unrelated to duration of diabetes. A modest increase in delayed skeletal maturation did not account for the cortical thinning and osteopenia observed. The cause of the osteopenia of diabetic children remains an enigma.