We Are Sunshine

HEADLINE STORY: New study suggests 2 of 3 children in the United States don’t get enough D

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

OCT. 28, 2009 — Two thirds of children in the United States are vitamin D deficient, according to a study published this week in the medical journal Pediatrics.

2009-10-27-d-ficient-kids-copy.jpg“Millions of children in the U.S. may not get enough vitamin D, and African-American and Hispanic kids are especially at risk, a new study suggests,” internet health source reported on the study. “Researchers concluded that more than 6 million U.S. children have lower vitamin D levels than the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends. And more than two out of three children, or 24 million, have lower levels than may be optimal for good health.”

What the WebMD story identified as “sub-optimal” vitamin D levels are now recognized by vitamin D experts as simply being “vitamin D deficient.”

“The body converts UV rays from the sun into vitamin D, and all agree that sun exposure is the most efficient way to increase blood levels of the vitamin,” WebMD reported, adding the blanket caveat that “sun exposure also increases the risk of skin cancer and most dermatologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children wear sunscreen at all times while outside in the sun.”

The problem with that statement: It isn’t true.

“Sun exposure is the only natural way to increase vitamin D levels to the optimal range — there isn’t a single study showing that you can do that through diet,” Smart Tan Vice President Joseph Levy said. “Saying that sun exposure increases the risk of skin cancer and should be avoided is even more ridiculous than saying that water increases the risk of drowning, so people shouldn’t drink water. There are more studies showing that chemical sunscreen usage increases melanoma risk than there are studies saying that it decreases risk.”

To read the WebMD story click here.