The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency worldwide is high, with an estimated ⅓ of the world’s population affected. However, there are some communities, such as in India and Pakistan, in which vitamin D deficiency affects approximately 90% of individuals.
To combat this public health problem, the Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI), the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the North MDC Schools in India has initiated Project Dhoop. This initiative is designed to promote safe sun exposure and vitamin D fortified food choices to school aged children in India.
The Project Dhoop’s Noon Assembly program encourages schools to hold assemblies outside in the noon-day sun to promote vitamin D production in school children’s skin.
Representatives of NCERT, NDMC and North MCD Schools and school authorities noted,
“We would definitely look at this opportunity seriously, considering that the noon assembly takes advantage of the freely available sunshine. We shall advise all schools to shift morning assembly to noon assembly. This little step can help children grow into healthy adults.”
We have recently begun to see a greater shift toward public health outreach to promote higher vitamin D levels. Just the other week, we published a story on Kellogg’s increasing the vitamin D content of their cereals. We believe this is a direct response from the expansion of research on vitamin D and human health. We at the Vitamin D Council are excited to see positive efforts supporting safe sun exposure and vitamin D education in communities throughout the world.