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Study: 7 in 10 kids need more vitamin D

A new study out today suggests that 7 out of 10 children in the U.S. have low levels of vitamin D, raising their risk for bone and heart disease.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently recommended that children take vitamin D supplements of 400 IU a day.

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But only 4 percent of those in the study were taking it. (Those numbers could be higher today. The data dates from a national survey done from 2001 to 2004.)

Vitamin D is called the "sunshine vitamin," because much of our intake comes from the sun's rays. But with children spending less time outside and usually being slathered with sunscreen when they are there, vitamin D levels have been dropping for years.

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Those who are more likely to have lower levels of vitamin D were older children, non-Hispanic blacks, Mexican Americans, those born outside the United States, obese children and those who spent more time watching television, playing video games or using the computer. In contrast, those who drank milk daily and those who took supplements were more likely to have adequate vitamin D levels.

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