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Vitamin D Deficiency

August 19, 2009

Vitamin D deficiency in children has become extremely widespread.


A nationwide vitamin D drain. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

About seventy percent of American children don’t get enough vitamin D – and about 9 percent are seriously deficient. This according to a study of six thousand kids, led by epidemiologist Michal Melamed of Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She says the problem has gotten worse in the past few decades, in part because kids spend less time in the sun.

MICHAL MELAMED (Albert Einstein College of Medicine):
We found that kids who used the computer or watched television for more than four hours a day – which is a long time – were 50 percent more likely to have vitamin D deficiency.

Other factors include poor diets, decreasing milk consumption, and even obesity: it’s thought that vitamin D can get locked up in excess fat. Melamed notes that lack of vitamin D causes rickets, a childhood bone disease that’s making a serious comeback. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.