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Get out in the sun more

BBC NEWS | Health | Vitamin D call for Asian children

All Asian children under the age of two should get vitamin D supplements, according to scientists....

According to Dr Christos Zipitis, lead author of the study and a paediatrician, the rate of deficiency in Asian children was one in 117 compared with one in 923 children overall.

He said as well as having increased skin pigmentation, Asian children often had diets low in vitamin D.

The team then analysed the cost of treatment for these 14 patients, covering the cost of medication, hospital care and follow up appointments. It averaged up to £2,505 per patient.

They then looked at the cost of vitamin D supplementation needed to prevent one case of deficiency in the whole population of children, based on their figures.

They did so based on guidelines by the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition Policy (COMA), which recommend varying levels of vitamin D over the first two years of a child's life. They found it be £47,534 per child.

But when they looked at the cost of preventing one case of deficiency in an Asian child, it came to £2,410.

The BBC fails to note any other possible reasons - unlike a fuller report I have mentioned before.
Reuters Health Information (2006-08-04): Vitamin D often low in seemingly healthy girls
... measured vitamin D levels in 14 white and 37 non-white 14-16-year-old girls attending an inner city multi-ethnic girls' school in the UK.
Thirty-seven girls (73 percent) were vitamin D deficient, and nine (17 percent) were severely deficient.
Average vitamin D levels were higher in white girls than in non-white girls.
For the group as a whole, the vitamin D concentration correlated with the estimated duration of daily sunlight exposure and percentage of body surface area exposed, but not with estimated intake of vitamin D.
"This is in keeping with the fact that the main source of vitamin D is that produced by the action of solar ultraviolet B radiation acting on 7-dehydrocholesterol in skin," the team explains. "Only small amounts are obtained from dietary sources."
As they note, "Avoidance of exposure to sunshine for religious and cultural beliefs that encourage wearing of concealing clothing and restriction of outdoor activities has previously been reported as a risk factor for vitamin D deficiency

And judging by the Middle Class' hysterical fear of their darlings playing in the sun it soon won't just be swaddled Asians in trouble.

Comments

Just what is a 'feeborn' englishman ? Does that mean that you were not kept in battery conditions as a baby or does it mean your mum subscribed to one of those hippy birthing techniques?

feeborn?? How unfortunate!

Remember half of all children are over weight!

I was sunburned as a child - the whole 9 yards of 3rd degree burns and bubbling skin (v. attractive). Now as the Mother of two I send the children out in the sun with 2 types of suncream, sunhats, sunglasses, mitts on their hands and suits of armour on. They are dehydrated and preternaturally skinny but completely unsunburned. Yay me. :)

If they want some son perhaps they could all f*** off back to where they belong!

I prefer to call my self an free-range Englishman (organic, MMR free).

Living in the epicentre of UV hell, I think that a balance has to be met. Growing up in Scotland, we never even talked about sunburn. That was for the lucky ones. My grandparents used to got Majorca or somewhere like that for 10 days every year. They used to come back completely burned and had a whole year for it to wear off. My wives friend has surgery every year to remove melanoma from his arms and face after a carefree youth in South Australia. Tanned complexion in his youth has lead to ruined skin now. So I think that wearing a hat and covering up most of the time is reasonable in this climate. Better Vitamin D deficiency than melanoma later. You can always take pills for the deficiency.

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