The Health Promotion Bureau (HPB) urged the public to spend at least 15 to 30 minutes in the sun between 10.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. to help overcome Vitamin D deficiency.
Consultant Community Physician, Dr. Supun Wijesinghe when contacted yesterday (8) said, in two separate surveys and a systematic review done during three separate years since 2017 shown that children between the ages of 10 to 18 years and the urban adult population suffered from Vitamin D deficiency.
“In a survey done in 2017 on the prevalence of Vitamin
D deficiency amongst children between the ages of 10 to 18 years was shown to be 13.2 per cent,” he noted. Data collected in a survey carried out on the urban adult population in 2015 (age, sex adjusted with Vitamin D deficiency) showed a deficiency of 58.8 per cent. A subsequent review done in 2021 on the prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency in South Asian countries revealed that Sri Lanka had a rate of 48 per cent.
“What we want to stress to the public is that in order to benefit from this micronutrient which is freely available, they should have exposure to the sun within the said time limits.” Dr. Wijesinghe said. He noted however that those persons who were given medical advice due to skin conditions should not be exposed to the sun.
By Dilanthi Jayamanne