February 6, 2009
Vitamins Go to Kids Who Don’t Need Them
Vitamins do a body good, but healthy kids who eat a balanced diet don't really need them.
A new study, however, finds those are exactly the kind of kids who receive these supplements.
As expected, costs appeared to be a driving factor in determining which kids did and did not take vitamins. Among families not considered poor, 43 percent of children were taking the supplements. That number dropped to 22 percent among those in households falling below the poverty line. Among households using food stamps, just 18 percent of kids were taking vitamins, and in those deemed to suffer from food insecurity and hunger, only 15 percent of children were receiving vitamin supplements.
The researchers note vitamin use is not recommended for healthy children over the age of one. Their next step will be to survey parents about why they choose to give their kids vitamins even when they may not need them.
SOURCE: Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, published online February 2, 2009
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