Wednesday, 30th May 2012
Kellogg's Adds Sunshine Nutrient To Its Kids Products
Kellogg's fortifies household favourites such as Rice Krispies and Corn Flakes with Vitamin D to help boost intake among Ireland's sun shy families
The Kellogg Company of Ireland has announced that it is adding Vitamin D across its kids and family cereals portfolio in order to help tackle the growing issue of health problems relating to Vitamin D deficiency, among Irish children.
Data released by the Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance indicates that up to nine in ten Irish children do not achieve the recommended intakes of Vitamin D (5 ug/day) (IUNA (2005), National Children Food Survey) . Although Vitamin D is present in a limited number of foods such as oily fish, fortified margarine and eggs, when exposed to sunlight the body can also make it, this is why it is often called the 'sunshine' vitamin.
According to the National Children's Food Survey, the addition of Vitamin D at a level of 4.2ug/100g to Kellogg's breakfast cereals could increase a child's mean daily intake of Vitamin D by approximately 25 per cent.
Vitamin D deficiency causes Rickets a condition that affects bone development in children. As Rickets is not an infectious disease health professionals are under no obligation to measure incidences of the disease making it difficult to quantify the scale of the problem across the Irish population. However there are concerns that the incidence of Rickets is on the increase in Ireland. High incidents of Rickets in children were commonplace before the 1930s but food fortification, sun exposure and supplementation policies led to a dramatic decline.
According to Irish medical experts: "For nearly six months of the year from October to March in Ireland, skin production is absent and the population is dependent on oral intake from natural foodstuffs, (which are consumed in small quantities only), fortified foodstuffs (most notably some milk products for the past 25 years) and vitamin D supplements, either multivitamin tablets or in combination with calcium tablet. Prevention of vitamin D deficiency is a public health measure: the intake in the general population can be improved by fortification policies; and, the intake of at-risk groups can be improved by targeted supplementation."
It is important that every day, commonly eaten foods are fortified in order to have an impact on children's Vitamin D levels in the diet. Kellogg's children's cereals are in 75 per cent of households, so by adding vitamin D to these cereals, Kellogg's will be helping to boost levels of the sunshine nutrient.
Another contributing factor is that parents worried about the risks of sun exposure are not encouraging their children to get out into the sunlight with many not getting enough sun exposure to give them sufficient vitamin D levels.
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