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Surprisingly low vitamin D awareness in Australia

Posted on: July 10, 2013   by  Kate Saley

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In Australia, vitamin D fortified food is limited, leaving sun exposure and supplementation as the main sources of vitamin D. Findings from recent surveys conducted in Australia suggest that the general population has limited awareness and understanding about vitamin D.

We see headlines regularly calling attention to the widespread vitamin D deficiency of the Australian population, something that is quite surprising given that some parts of the country get up to 300 sunny days per year.

Experts in Australia are currently trying to spread what they call the balance message. “The balance message suggests some sunlight exposure each day for adequate vitamin D production, but not so much that would lead to increased skin cancer risk,” explains Dr Billie Bonevski from the Priority Research Centre for Translational Neuroscience and Mental Health in New South Wales, Australia.

Dr Bonevski and colleagues conducted a qualitative study aimed to explore vitamin D and sun exposure understanding, attitudes and practices of groups at risk of vitamin D deficiency. They also included people teaching children about healthy sun exposure.

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