Vitamin D Deficiency Puts Young Children at Risk

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All young children aged six months (unless receiving more than 500ml of infant formula a day) to five years should receive a daily dose of vitamins A, C and D, the Department of Health advises.

However a report by the Feeding for Life Foundation, which investigates the issues surrounding vitamin supplementation for young children, has revealed a worrying gap between best practice and what is happening in Britain today.

Figures from the latest National Diet and Nutrition Survey highlight the need for greater focus on the public health threat of vitamin D deficiency. The interim statistics suggest there is no longer need for under-5s to receive additional vitamin A or C.

Download the survey here

However the NDNS data shows that on average- from food sources alone- toddlers are only achieving one quarter (27 per cent) of recommended levels of vitamin D.

Awareness of the Government guidance on supplementation for the under-5s is poor, according to a survey presented at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health RCPCH.

View the abstract of the RCPCH survey here

Less than half the health visitors and even fewer midwives routinely advised vitamin D supplementation to their patient groups, while nine out of ten GPs could not identify more than one risk factor for those in need of supplementation.

Download the Mind the Gap report

The Feeding for Life Foundation is not a registered charity.
The work of the Feeding for Life Foundation is supported by Cow & Gate.
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