The National Osteoporosis Society is heading its fifth Sunlight Campaign to increase awareness about the role vitamin D and sunlight play in bone health.
The National Osteoporosis Society recently conducted a survey of 600 people in the UK. They found:
- 62% of people surveyed knew vitamin D is vital for optimal bone health.
- 200 respondents reported that the best way to get vitamin D is to go in the sun without sunscreen.
The chair of the Nutrition and Lifestyle forum at the National Osteoporosis Society, Dr Helen Macdonald stated that they are encouraged by the increasing awareness of vitamin D and bone health, but she recognizes there is still a long way to go.
Siobhan Hallmark, spokeswoman for the National Osteoporosis Society explained:
“Over 37% of people we questioned this year understood that you need to head outside without sunscreen in order to obtain your vitamin D, compared to only 6% of respondents three years ago, but there is still a lot of confusion and a lot of people still think that you should wear sunscreen.”
Half of the respondents stated they didn’t need to take a vitamin D supplement because they ate a healthy balanced diet, although it is known that diet accounts for a small portion of our vitamin D production. While getting a healthy balanced diet is very important for overall health, it is important to get an adequate amount of vitamin D from sunlight, and if this is not possible, from supplements as well.
We all know the dangers of sunlight are well known, let’s make sure everyone knows about the dangers of vitamin D deficiency and it’s implications for bone health.
To read research about vitamin D and bone health, visit the Vitamin D Council’s blog: Vitamin D linked to decrease risk of stress fractures in adolescent girls.
To learn more visit the National Osteoporosis Society’s website.