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Vitamin deficiency hits SA kids hard

By unknown | Nov 04, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Zinhle Mapumulo

Zinhle Mapumulo

Food insecurity is very common in South African households, though the solution could easily be found by growing fruit and vegetables in their backyards.

It is a known fact, for instance, that children need vitamins and minerals to grow healthy and strong.

Vitamin A, for example, plays a crucial role in protecting against infections.

Vitamin A deficiency is severe in at least eight provinces in South Africa.

Studies show that one in three South African children suffer from this deficiency.

"South African children are dying from a lack of vitamin A in their diet," dietician Jane Badham says.

"The problem is so severe that it has been declared a national public health problem."

Vitamin A deficiency can be prevented and health experts say it need not be expensive.

Badham says: "All that is needed are foods rich in vitamin A such as fruit and vegetables. Such vegetables and fruit are pumpkin, gem squash, carrots, spinach, pawpaws and mangoes."


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