Friday, August 16, 2013

Latino Children Are Less Likely to Take Multivitamins than Adults

Disclosure: This is a compensated post in collaboration with a LATISM campaign to support healthy living habits in the Latino community.

With the start of school, you know I'm going to be talking about nutrition again and how important it is for your kids to receive a good breakfast before they head off each morning to school. (See all of my great posts on nutrition, how it affects academic performance, and healthy but yummy recipes and snacks here.)

But I haven't talked about vitamins. However, a recent study conducted by Consumer Reports en Español and LATISM shows that Latinos are actually pretty big on using multivitamins as adults - but not so much when it comes to their kids.

Dr Jose Luis Mosquera, Medical Advisor for Consumer Reports, says that children should start taking vitamins "after they start chewing food properly – age 3 on, but most doctors allow after age 2."

He says that many kids don’t like dairy products or have allergies. Other sources of vitamins are good like orange juice, lentils, cold water fish like salmon and sardines, and soy milk. But there is little scientific evidence they do work, Dr. Mosquera says.

So a multivitamin doesn't hurt your child if given as directed and can prevent vitamin deficiencies caused by sedentary lifestyles, poor diets, and other factors. Consider a multivitamin for your child, especially if he or she spends a lot of time indoors, doesn't drink milk/dairy products, doesn't eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, **drinks sodas, or suffers from being overweight.

Do you give your children a multivitamin on a regular basis?


  1. Healthy living habits should not be giving multivitamins to children. Healthy living habits should be teaching parents how to provide a healthy environment to their children where children are encouraged to eat healthy. Our family has worked really hard to get our daughter to eat healthy, she loves to eat salmon, lentils, oatmeal, tons of fruit and veggies. She loves to run and has barely used a stroller, and she is only 3!
    Parents should not think that not eating healthy is ok as long as they are taking this fortified candy.
    I definitely would not recommend any parent to give any multivitamin to their children (unless your child has chronic disease) as many studies have shown that multivitamins do not have any effect on healthy lifestyles.

  2. I agree with the other comment. A multivitamin is not a adequate substitution for a healthy diet and lifestyle.

  3. Thanks, Ladies. I certainly agree that a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise and a healthy diet preclude the need for vitamin intake. That's why I don't give my kids a vitamin on a regular basis. However, this post probably isn't for families like ours so much as those who are not as aware of the risks. The numbers don't lie and the reality is that not all Latino families are as health conscious as yours. In fact, Latino children are more likely to suffer from obesity (and Vitamin D deficiency) due to poor diets and poor exercise routines. HALF of Latino newborns today will develop diabetes. 1 in 4 Latino children are nutritionally insecure, and Latino children make up the largest share of American children living in food insecurity.

    See my posts:

    Fighting Obesity in Latino Children

    Latina Bloggers Policy Briefing: Department of Agriculture

    ¡Muévete Hoy! #FightLatinoObesity


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