Teens Not Getting Enough Vitamin D

Jun 12, 2004 12:07 PM EDT

A recent study has found that many adolescents living in American cities have low levels of vitamin D—the vitamin crucial for calcium absorption and bone growth.

Researchers examined vitamin D deficiency among 307 healthy urban adolescents, aged 11 to 18, who had blood tests and nutrition and activity assessments.

Over 90% had at least insufficient vitamin D intake

The study found that 24% of the adolescents were vitamin D deficient; 5% were severely vitamin D deficient. The study also found that 42% of the adolescents were vitamin D insufficient.

Ethnicity, milk and juice consumption, time of the year, body mass index and physical activity were significant predictors of vitamin D insufficiency.

The prevalence was highest in African-American teenagers and during winter, although the problem seems to be common across sex, season and ethnicity.

The study appears in the June issue of the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.


1. C. M. Gordon; DePeter, K.C., Emans, S.J., Feldman, H.A., Grace, E., “Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency among Healthy Adolescents,” Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 2004:158:531-537.