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Study: U.S. kids get little vitamin D

October 26, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A recent analysis suggests at least one in five U.S. children aged 1 to 11 don't get enough vitamin D and the main author says the number is between 80 and 90 percent for minority kids. A vitamin D deficiency could put kids at risk for a variety of health problems including weak bones.

Dr. Jonathan Mansbach calls the statistics for black and Hispanic children "astounding numbers" that should serve as a call to action. He's a researcher at Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital in Boston.

Vitamin D deficiency in children, teens and adults is a concern because of recent studies suggesting the vitamin might help prevent serious diseases, including infections, diabetes and even some cancers.

Exactly how much vitamin D children and adults should get, and defining when they are deficient, is still under debate.