According to Laura Street, Kellogg’s UK and Ireland nutrition manager, research conducted by the company shows Brits do not naturally choose foods that contain vitamin D.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that people need to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, however, the National Diet and Nutrition Survey conducted in 2014 found one in five Brits is deficient in vitamin D.
A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities like rickets and osteomalacia in children, as well as cardiovascular diseases, depression, hair loss and muscle weakness.
Roll out of Kellogg's vitamin D-enriched cereals will be undertaken in three stages:
End of March 2018:
- Coco Pops Original
- Rice Krispies (Original)
- Corn Flakes
- Crunchy Nut Cornflakes
- Special K Original
- Bran Flakes
- Sultana Bran
- Rice Krispies
- Fruit n Fibre
- Rice Krispies Multi-Grain Shapes
- Disney cereals
- Honey Loops
- All variants of Coco Pops
“That’s why fortification of this vitamin is so important, especially in a food eaten by so many households across the UK,” she said.
Upping vitamin D
The special K and Corn Flakes maker has announced its cereals will contain 50% of the UK government’s recommended 5gm daily intake, which it claims, is the highest fortification level across the cereal category.
In 2011, Kellogg’s was the first cereal company to fortify its cereals with 25% of people’s daily Vitamin D needs.
“But, the problem of deficiency continues so we need to do more,” added Street.
Millennials are particularly at risk.
Kellogg’s research found young adults are not eating the same foods that Baby Boomers did as kids, with only 25% of people under the age of 30 stating they had ever eaten vitamin D-rich foods such as Spam, sardines, kippers, jellied eels, fish paste and liver.
Despite the benefits, though, almost half of the Millennials surveyed said they still would not eat them, with 40% believing they could use the sun as their primary source of vitamin D.
Over 80% of Millennials also said they do not take fish oil tablets to boost vitamin D levels – which, as many as three in four over-60s do choose to take – again believing sunshine is enough.
This attitude has left British children eating four times below the national average of vitamin D and has rendered one in five adults deficient in vitamin D.
Research has found the UK’s winter months are not strong enough to start producing Vitamin D in the skin.