More than a third of mothers do not know the health benefits of Vitamin D – and some wrongly believe it is found in chocolate, wine and cheese, a British study suggests.
The findings come as figures show the number of children suffering from rickets, which is caused by a lack of Vitamin D and was once associated with Victorian poverty, has soared over the past decade.
With the clocks gone back and the days getting shorter, experts warn that the risk of a deficiency in Vitamin D, which is produced by sunlight, is increasing.
New research commissioned by Colief shows that mothers and some healthcare professionals are confused about why the nutrient is important, and how to get it.
According to the study, nearly a third (28%) of mothers and expectant mothers surveyed said they are not planning to give the vitamin to their children.
While 38% did not know the importance of Vitamin D for their children – which is crucial for maintaining healthy bones and teeth – nearly half (43%) are not aware it is made in the skin during the summer months.
Some wrongly believed it was found in Chocolate (5%), wine (2%), cheese (13%) and orange juice (15%).
Researchers questioned more than 1,000 pregnant women and mothers. The research also suggests some GPs and healthcare professionals are unclear about the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency.
Less than a quarter (24%) of the 50 healthcare professionals spoken to identified bowed legs as a common deficiency indicator.
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