Many New Zealanders may be blocking out the health benefits of sunshine and becoming vitamin D deficient, researchers say. Growing evidence of vitamin D deficiency, including the re-emergence of childhood rickets, has prompted two health researchers to conduct an online survey of mothers and health professionals to find out how much they know about the essential vitamin. "There is emerging evidence that sections of the New Zealand population, ranging from newborn babies to the elderly, are vitamin D deficient," Massey University Vitamin D Research Centre co-director Pamela von Hurst said.
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Comment: Vitamin D deficiency is becoming a worldwide problem. In the United States, Canada, the UK and throughout the EU, for example, deficiencies of the vitamin are now widespread. Anthony Norman, a professor emeritus of biochemistry and biomedical sciences and an international expert on vitamin D, notes that half the people in North America and Western Europe get insufficient amounts of vitamin D and that merely eating vitamin D-rich foods is not adequate to solve the problem.