Research shows American children do not get enough vitamin D

Research shows American children do not get enough vitamin D According to a new study, as many as 70 percent of U.S. children have low levels of vitamin D, a finding that raises concerns about bone and heart health of future generations.

The research was conducted at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University where data was analyzed from more than 6,000 children under the age of 21.

The scientists found that 9 percent of the participants — some 7.6 million children — was vitamin D deficient. Low levels of the vitamin were particularly widespread in older children as well as those who were female, African-American, Mexican-American, obese, drank milk less than once a week, or spent less time outdoors.

“We expected the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency would be high, but the magnitude of the problem nationwide was shocking,” says lead author Dr. Juhi Kumar, a fellow in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center.

As low levels of vitamin D have been linked by various studies with poor bone health, higher blood pressure, and lower HDL cholesterol levels, the researchers recommend that high-risk children should be routinely screened for vitamin D deficiency.

They also suggests all kids should get adequate amounts of the vitamin through a combination of diet, nutritional supplements and moderate exposure to sunlight, which includes the use of sunscreen for those who burn easily or spend a longer time outdoors.