We Are Sunshine

Half of all teens aren’t getting enough of The Sunshine Vitamin: Report

Friday, March 6th, 2009

U.S. News & World Report and other publications have added another story to the vitamin D tidal wave this year, promoting a study showing that most teenagers aren’t getting enough of The Sunshine Vitamin.

2009-03-05-teens-need-more-d-tanningnews-copy.jpg“Many teens today, especially black teens, aren’t getting enough of vitamin D, the so-called sunshine vitamin that is essential for cells to function, say researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City,” U.S. News & World Report published on its web site Wednesday.

The new study examined almost 3,000 youths, aged 12-19. Among the findings:

  • Black teens are 20 times more likely to be vitamin D deficient than white teens.
  • Girls are twice as likely to be vitamin D deficient as compared to boys.
  • Obese teens are twice as likely to be vitamin D deficient.

“How anyone can look at these results and not come to the immediate conclusion that teenagers need more sunshine is unthinkable,” Smart Tan Vice President Joseph Levy said. “The fact that vitamin D deficiency is 20 times more common in darker-skinned teenagers is pretty good proof: It’s sunlight deprivation that is leading to this. As if the evidence wasn’t clear enough already.”

The study used lower levels of vitamin D to define “deficiency.” Using the standards that the vitamin D community has since adopted as sufficient, even more teens would be deficient in the report.

Dr. Michael Holick is quoted in the story as saying, “Never get a sunburn, wear sunblock on the face — but don’t always slather on sunscreen, because the most efficient way of getting your vitamin D is through your skin.” Holick told U.S. News that he recommends about 30 minutes of sun exposure a day.

To read the U.S. News & World Report story click here.