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The Green Life: Take Your Vitamins - Drink your Milk - Go Outside

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August 04, 2009

Take Your Vitamins - Drink your Milk - Go Outside

Girlswingsinsun All summer, we’ve been electronically pelting you with reasons to get your children outside. For instance: combating nature deficit disorder, fostering a good, old-fashioned appreciation for the environment, and encouraging creativity.

Now, for those who need it, there’s a medical reason to send your kids back outside for some healthy romping in the sun.

Vitamin D deficiency is a problem for millions of U.S. youth, says a national study that the Washington Post recently reported. Nine percent of youth (between ages 1 and 21) are officially deficient in the vitamin, and another 61 percent have worryingly low levels of the vitamin. That's millions and millions of kids.

Vitamin D deficiency is problematic for many reasons. For instance, it results in weaker bones and puts children at higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, and – historically -- rickets.

Among the factors responsible for the missing D: children swapping outside activities for video games and TV, and trading in vitamin-enhanced milk for sodas.

"This appears to be another result of our unhealthy lifestyles, including a sedentary society that doesn't go out in the sun much," the Post quotes a researcher as saying.

If you’re looking for ways to supplement your child’s Vitamin D intake, here’s some suggestions from The Green Life:

Backyard Camping

Take a Hike Together

Water Journey

Green Tales

--Jamie Hansen

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