Thursday, June 19, 2008

Rickets on the Rise?

I caught a snippet of this Osgood File while commuting the other day and found it quite disturbing. He claims there is an increasing number of cases of rickets in U.S. children. At first I was not 100% sure what rickets was (unsure of the difference between rickets, scurvy and scabies), but I was pretty sure that it was one of those maladies that you were only supposed to read about. As he explained further, my memory was is a bone condition that is exacerbated by Vitamin D and calcium deficiency as well as a lack of sunlight and exercise. It is quite unsettling to think that children's legs are actually bending under their own wight.

It seems soda is supplanting milk more often in today's diets, undermining our health in many ways. Sunlight stimulates Vitamin D production in the body and exercise has been shown to increase bone density. Sitting inside playing video games does not help in either regard.

According to this article, rickets is still a rather rare disease...but being so easily preventable it seems very sad for it to still afflict anyone.


fhe said...

Unfortunately, the shortsightedness of dermatologists is to blame for this one. People need sunlight. Sure, there are skin cancers but skin cancers are a minor problem. Furthermore, as with everything else, too much of a good thing is not advised. Even when the good thing is sunlight.

Sunlight is essential for vitamin D production and vitamin D is essential for bones, and health. Ironically it also prevents cancer.

Vitamin D supplements, like all supplements are useless and ineffective. An $18 billion industry that we could do without

Chief said...

Perhaps, but I'd have to see the data on skin cancer vs rickets...I'm guessing there is a much higher prevalence of skin cancer. Rickets seems to have nearly been eradicated with fortified milk, technically a supplement. There should be some middle ground here. A moderate amount of sun, milk and exercise should do the trick, I'd say.