We live in Southeast Asia where it is mainly tropical-hot and humid all year round with plenty of rainfall. Yet with that much of sunshine, it’s so surprising to find out that there is a rise in vitamin D deficiency particularly in young children. The lack of Vitamin D in children can potentially cause rickets, delayed motor development, muscle weakness, aches and pains, and fractures.
About 80% of vitamin D is made by our skin when it is exposed to sunlight. Only a few food naturally contains vitamin D like fresh fatty fish (salmon, herring, mackerel and sardines), liver, mushrooms, cheese, egg yolks and fortified milk. *According to Professor Geok Lin Khor, International Medical University, Malaysia insufficiency levels of vitamin D are predominant among the primary school age children aged 6-12 years ranged from 30% to nearly 70% in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, depending on urban-rural locations and gender.
While we are not concluding that the lack of vitamin D in children and obesity correlates, but studies have shown that obesity and diet-related diseases are making its way to the tropics. Could it be due to our lifestyle? Are we focusing too much on education that our children are spending more time in sedentary activities and have less or no outdoor activities? *** Download our FREE “Fight the Flab” ebook for more information.
Benefit of vitamin D
Vitamin D helps our body absorb calcium for bones to grow, develop well and stay strong.
There are many indirect health benefit from the sun for children. By taking them outdoor for regular exercises and physical activities:
- Reduces their risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Helps boost their immunity
- Improves their metabolism, lowering risk of obesity
- Facilitates better sleeping
- Makes them feel good because exercise releases HAPPY chemical called endorphins
So what are you waiting for, time to take them outside and say “Hello Sunshine!”.
IDEA: Not sure where to go? Take them to The Playground. Be sure to teach your children about Sun Safety.
- ILSI Southeast Asia Region Seminar on Vitamin D in Nutrition and Health – PDF document
- Should we include a reference to our ebook here?