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Vitamin D Status Of College Students: Implications For Health Leaders, Eileen M. Cress
Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Vitamin D deficiency is considered to be a pandemic with implications for compromised bone health and other chronic diseases. Few studies have examined vitamin D status in college-aged individuals where prevention of future health consequences is still possible. Serum vitamin D 25(OH)D status and vitamin D intake were examined in 98 college students ages 18-29 years during winter. BMI was classified as < 25and 25 or greater. Race was categorized as Caucasian or other. Overall, 69.5% had suboptimal serum vitamin D levels, <30ng/mL. Only 8 students (8.2%) met the EAR (400 IU) per day for vitamin D intake. t tests were used to determine if there were significant differences in serum vitamin D level and dietary intake based on gender, race and BMI. Significant differences were found in serum vitamin D level when compared by gender and race. Females tended to have a higher serum vitamin D level than males. Those representing minorities had lower serum vitamin D levels than Caucasians; One hundred percent of the minority students had suboptimal serum vitamin D levels. Based on these findings, dietitians should increase efforts to target college-aged individuals in educational programming related to factors affecting vitamin D synthesis, vitamin D intake, and health consequences of suboptimal vitamin D status, particularly in winter. Consideration should be given to vitamin D fortification of foods that meet the preferences of today’s consumer.