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Study questions the amount of vitamin D children get

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Vitamin D, which kids can get from fortified milk, salmon, and moderate exposure to the sun, is thought to improve bone health and may also help prevent cancer.

In the first nationally-representative study of vitamin D levels in children, researchers analyzed government data between 2001 and 2006 for kids 11 and under. They found that, under the current standards set by the American Academy of Pediatrics, approximately 6 million U.S. children are vitamin D deficient.

There is controversy, however, as to whether this standard is actually too low. When using more stringent standards for pediatric vitamin D levels, it is estimated that as many as 24 million children are vitamin D deficient, including 92% of non-Hispanic black children, and 80% of Hispanic children.

More research is needed to determine the appropriate vitamin D requirements for children, so that parents and pediatricians can better gauge how to supplement their child’s diet.

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Though it has been suspected for years that many children in the U.S. today do not get enough vitamin D, most studies on this phenomenon have been limited. Now, a new analysis proves it.

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Associated poll

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