Nearly half of UK adults unaware of gov’s winter vit D guidelines, BNF survey finds

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

©iStock
©iStock

Related tags Vitamin d Government yougov

A British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) survey reveals that nearly half (49%) of UK adults are unaware of Government’s advice recommending vitamin D supplementation during autumn and winter.

Carried out by YouGov, the survey, which looked at people’s awareness and habits in relation to vitamin D, also reveals 21% of respondents take vitamin D to protect themselves from COVID-19, despite a lack of robust evidence.

“A balanced diet can give us most of the nutrients we need,” ​says Sara Stanner, Science Director, British Nutrition Foundation.

“But vitamin D is an exception because our main source is UV exposure from sunlight on skin and there are relatively few rich dietary sources.”

More results

The findings, taken from a sample of 2072 adults and carried out online, also revealed 32% were aware of the Government vitamin D recommendations including the daily amount recommended.

A further 19% had heard of the recommendation but were not aware that the daily amount suggested is 10 micrograms.

When it came to taking vitamin D supplements, which included tablets, gummies, capsules, drops etc that contain vitamin D alone and/or as part of a combined or multivitamin, the researchers found 26% of respondents take vitamin D supplements all year round.

Another 8% say they take vitamin D supplements for most of the year, while another 8% say they take them during the autumn and winter months (October to March)

Further results reveal that 15% take them ‘inconsistently’ and 39% say they never take vitamin D supplements.

When pressed, 31% of these respondents think they already get enough vitamin D from diet and/or sunlight, while 28% say they aren’t aware of the benefits of taking them.

Oct-Mar

“We have seen little improvement in vitamin D status in the population in recent years,”​ Stanner adds.

“So, it is really important that we raise awareness of the need to consider supplements from October to March to make sure we are getting the vitamin D we need to keep us healthy.”

The Government’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey shows that about 1 in 6 adults in the UK have low levels of vitamin D in their blood.

The Government advises everyone to consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement of 10 micrograms from October-March to help keep bones and muscles healthy.

Revealing why people do or don’t take supplements, 40% of those that did say it is for general health, while 36% think they don’t get enough vitamin D from their diet and/or sunlight.

27% say they take vitamin D to keep their bones healthy, but only 10% say they take vitamin D in order to follow the Government guidelines.

When asked about purchasing vitamin D fortified foods, the majority of respondents (74%) say they do not buy any foods or drinks because they are fortified with vitamin D.

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