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Two new studies show that millions of U.S. children have disturbingly low vitamin D levels, increasing their risk of heart disease, diabetes, bone problems, and other illnesses. About 7.6 million children have Vitamin D levels so low they could be considered deficient, while an additional 50.8 million have higher levels, but still low enough to be insufficient. Doctors are extremely concerned.
The researchers say low levels could be the result of many things: children spending more time watching television and playing video games instead of going outside, covering up and using sunscreen when they do go outdoors (sunscreen block's the sun's vitamin D), and drinking more soda and less milk.
Because a vitamin D deficiency is so potentially serious, health experts are urging parents to ask their pediatrician to check their kid's vitamin D levels. To up your child's levels experts recommend vitamin D supplements, more sun, more milk, foods containing vitamin D, and foods fortified with vitamin D like breads and cereals.
Do you know if your toddler is getting enough vitamin D? Does he drink milk? Get out in the sun?