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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Rickets on the increase

Waikato Seeing An Increase In Rickets,10 Oct 2006
Doctors in Waikato say they are concerned about an increase in the number of cases of rickets in children.The disease can cause severe bone deformities, including bowed legs and is caused by a lack of vitamin D which is mainly obtained by sunlight.Although rickets is usually associated with poorer nations, Dr John Goldsmith from Waikato Hospital says the condition seems to be becoming more common in New Zealand.He says that could be because children are not regularly given vitamins and are staying out of the sun more, probably due to skin cancer campaigns.
Gary Moller comments:
This report comes on the tail of a recent study here in Wellington showing an upsurge in rickets among South Wellington children. These are the very same kids that I published a picture of a few years ago because school policy did not allow them to go outside on bleak Wellington days without being covered up (Many of these kids are of Northe African descent, so sunburn is hardly and issue!). I have been going on about this for years and it is only now when disabling ailments are afflicting our kids that we get any kind of acknowledegement from these experts that running about without being covered from head to toe might be a healthy behaviour. The evidence has been out there for decades that raising our kids in dark caves and not allowing them to play and be active outdoors is not good for them.

Sunlight is essential for health; but professional myopia continues to predominate. For example; it continues to be ignored that exposure to sunlight during adolescence may reduce breast cancer risk by up to 50%. As I have said before, if a drug were invented that was as effective as sunlight, it would be a media and health profession sensation. But sunlight is free.

I was listening to Dr Goldsmith doing a radio interview about rickets a few minutes ago and, while he referred to the importance of sunlight and exercise, his parting comment was to suggest vitamin D pills for kids! This is both ridiculous and unsafe and further sets out to medicalise an entire generation of healthy people. It is easy to overdose with vitamin D medication; whereas production via sunlight is self-regulating. A person taking vitamin D pills needs regular blood tersts to ensure there is no overdosing.

Medicating kids normalises the taking of pills and this is highly undesirable for their futures especially when it does not deal with the underlying issues - lack of wholsome exercise outdoors.

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