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Vitamin D Deficiency in Children

US Children Lacking Vitamin D in Their Diets

Get your children out in the sun, it's the doctor's order. Following last year's report recommending an increase in children's daily dosage of vitamin D, a new study shows that about nine percent of US children exhibit vitamin D levels so low, they can be considered deficient. Another 61 percent still show levels low enough to concern doctors. A lack of vitamin D — which can be obtained from direct sunlight, fortified milk, fatty fish, or fish liver oils — increases the risk of rickets, bone problems, heart disease, cholesterol issues, and diabetes. Among the groups with the lowest levels of vitamin D are girls, adolescents, and people with darker skin. According to the reports:

The researchers and others blamed the low levels on a combination of factors, including children spending more time watching television and playing video games instead of going outside, covering up and using sunscreen when they do go outdoors, and drinking more soda and other beverages instead of consuming milk and other foods fortified with Vitamin D.

To increase vitamin D levels, experts recommend 15 minutes of direct sunlight (unfiltered by sunscreen) three times a week, eating more fortified foods like bread, milk, and cereal, and ensuring that multivitamins contain vitamin D.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
StephanieHayden30068 StephanieHayden30068 4 years
ITS BECAUSE THEY ARE IN SCHOOL ALL DAMN DAY! They freaking have them from sun up til sun down! utter BS! They all play once a day at school, not even enough! parents have no time with their kids! I actually HATE it! I do not think they should stay in school til JUNE either!
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
Um, low levels in toddlers probabloy has a lot to do with all of the freak out messages telling people that their severe sun damage happened in their childhood.
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