Victorian disease on the rise amongst children of today

Too much time indoors has seen the return of rickets, a disease previously linked to poverty, experts have said

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Modern diets, too much time watching TV and playing computer games could be to blame for the return of rickets amongst children.

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Rickets is a preventable disease. It can see children not grow properly and develop painful, deformed bow legs. It’s a disease previously linked to poverty and malnutrition and was seen in Victorian Britain.

In order to combat the rise, two experts from Newcastle University have said Vitamin D should be added to milk and other foods. Vitamin D is produced when your skin is exposed to sunlight and is also found in a few foods, such as oily fish, liver and egg yolks. A chronic vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets, amongst other health problems.

“Kids tend to stay indoors more these days and play on their computers instead of enjoying the fresh air. This means their vitamin D levels are worse than in previous years,” said Professor Simon Pearce, from Newcastle University.

“We believe that a more robust approach to statutory food supplementation with vitamin D, for example in milk, is needed in the UK, as this measure has already been introduced successfully in many other countries in similar parts of the world, ” he said.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) isn’t so keen on mandatory supplementation, and has commented that “most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from their diet and by getting a little sun”. The FSA suggests pregnant or breastfeeding mums and people over 60 take 10 micrograms of vitamin D daily. “Taking 25 micrograms (0.025 mg) or less of vitamin D supplements a day is unlikely to cause any harm,” the FSA said.

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Have you taken vitamin D supplements? Do you think we need vitamin D added to our food, or do we just need to get outdoors more? Let us know below…

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