Health beverages should be fortified, doctors claim

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Related tags: Vitamin d, Milk

Doctors are blaming incomplete diets for rickets, the
bone-weakening childhood disease, currently growing in numbers in
the US. Doctors reporting in the...

Doctors are blaming incomplete diets for rickets, the bone-weakening childhood disease, currently growing in numbers in the US. Doctors reporting in the journal Pediatrics​ said a growing number of children are exhibiting the disease because their parents feed them soy- or rice-based beverages, which do not contain vitamin D. Nutritional rickets remained a major pediatric health scourge in the United States until the late 1920s, when vitamin D fortification of commercially prepared milk was introduced. Milk remains the main source of exogenous vitamin D for toddlers. "With increasing numbers of parents exploring strict vegetarian diets, many may be making inappropriate changes to their children's diets,"​ said Dr. Norman Carvalho, leading study researcher at the Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta in Georgia. "Additionally, some parentsmay mistakenly believe their child is allergic to milk or lactose-intolerant, and needlessly switch to alternative products."​ The doctors recommend that any soy beverages should be fortified with vitamin D and calcium. They warned that rice beverages may not be appropriate milk alternatives for children, because it has inadequate protein content. They added that beverages not containing appropriate quantities of protein, vitamins, and minerals for toddlers, which could be reasonably perceived as milk alternatives by the public, should carry a warning label as to their inappropriateness for this age group.​ Source: Pediatrics Vol. 107 No. 4 April 2001, p. e46

Related topics: Science

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