Could this be due, at least in part, to a lack of sunshine owing to the masses of aerosol material we have witnessed being put into the atmosphere since early-2010?
A disease associated with Victorian times has been found in nearly 60 New Zealand children.
Rickets is caused by a Vitamin D deficiency and is a serious bone-growth disorder that can lead to skeletal deformity and seizures.
An Otago University study over three years identified 58 cases of rickets, a third of them in Auckland and Northland.
The study’s co-author, Ben Wheeler, said risk factors for the disorder included being under three, having darker skin pigment, being exclusively breast-fed and living in the far South, Auckland and Northland.
Listen to Ben Wheeler on Morning Report: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/201760425/number-of-rickets-cases-on-the-rise-in-new-zealand
“I guess working at the coal face as a paediatrician and paediatric endocrinologist I see rickets every year, so we knew that it was occurring.
“And in fact probably, unfortunately, our results are probably an underestimate of the real numbers.”
Vitamin D is absorbed from food or produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight.
While breast-milk is the optimum nutrition for infants, it has low levels of naturally occurring Vitamin D, said Dr Wheeler. “So those who are breast fed are at higher risk than those who are formula fed.”
There was a “double problem” in New Zealand of too much UV from sunlight, leading to high rates of skin cancer and melanoma, but that many children were getting enough sunlight.
“The main message here is that we do think that the sun is harmful in New Zealand, and particularly for those who are very young, I think supplementation is the way forward for them.”
Dr Wheeler said at-risk mothers and children need to be better targeted for Vitamin D supplements.
Kellogg’s adds vitamin D to fight rickets after alarming rise in the condition The illness softens bones and often leaves children with bowed legs (BECAUSE THEY ARE BLOCKING THE SUN EVERY SUNNY DAY!!!)