Vitamin D Deficiency Puts Young Children at Risk
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