Kellogg’s to add vitamin D to cereals

Popular children’s breakfast cereals to combat rickets by adding extra vitamin D

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Coco Pops and Rice Krispies will soon be packed with additional vitamin D, as breakfast giant Kellogg’s aims to reduce rickets in young children.

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Kellogg’s is planning to have added vitamin D in most of its children’s cereals by the end of 2012, after a survey of paediatric dietitians revealed that 82% of them had seen a rise in rickets in children over the past 5 years, reports The Telegraph.

The number of children under 10 who have been admitted to hospital with the bone-softening condition has jumped by 140% between 2001 and 2008. Rickets is caused by a lack of vitamin D, which is made by the skin from sunlight. It causes weak bones and often bowed legs.

If your children eat Corn Flakes or Ricicles, then they will already be getting the extra vitamin D. Plans are to add it to Rice Krispies in March and Frosties in September.

Rickets was thought to have been wiped out in the 1930’s, but 20% of young children today still show symptoms of the condition, according to a study by Southampton University. It’s been suggested that as children spend more time playing computer games and watching TV, they’re not getting enough vitamin D from natural sunlight to ward off rickets.

A deficiency in vitamin D can also lead to cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and multiple sclerosis.

“We used to get enough vitamin D from sunlight but we are not getting as much. Children are not playing outdoors as much as they used to and also people are slapping on suncream a lot more. So if we can get vitamin D into food children like to eat, that’s fantastic,” Jacqui Lowdon, of the British Dietetic Association, told the Daily Mirror.

Would you rather have a bowl of Coco Pops if you knew it contained extra vitamins or do you think kids should get out more? Let us know what you think…

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