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A large percentage of the population would benefit from higher levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D plays an essential role in the prevention of some 20 common cancers, the prevention of bone problems, modulation of neuromuscular and immune function, reduction of inflammation, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes. Vitamin D also seems to improve infertility, weight control and memory.

The D story

UK Takes on Vitamin D Deficiency in Kids

After so many decades of successful public education campaigning about protecting ourselves from the sun to decrease our risk of skin cancer (a campaign that bears at least some responsibility for the vitamin D deficiency problem in developed nations), it’s good to see a major country take the issue head on.

The UK’s new campaign is called Vitamin D Mission and is particularly focused on getting kids under five up to speed on their vitamin D levels. Quite a few groups are coming together on this campaign, both commercial and professional, including the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital and organisations including Cow & Gate Growing Up Milk, BetterYou and Kellogg's.

The campaign notes that right now it looks like most toddlers are only getting about 27% of recommended dietary intake of vitamin D. And as all of you know, vitamin D deficiency has been correlated with all kinds of diseases and conditions. The campaign’s website includes a nifty online calculator that helps parents determine if their kids are getting enough vitamin D.

Obviously, this is huge news to have a country like the UK finally taken a real stand on addressing vitamin D deficiency. But why limit it to only young children? Low vitamin D levels are rampant among all age groups! We’ll be taking a much closer look at this campaign to give it a critique and evaluation. It’s important to do that as one of the first major public health campaigns we’ve seen to be devoted entirely to vitamin D.

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