Improving Vitamin D Intake in Young Children—Can an Infographic Help Parents and Carers Understand the Recommendations?
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 3140; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093140 (registering DOI)
by Ailsa Brogan-Hewitt 1,Tanefa A Apekey 1,Meaghan Sarah Christian 2 andRhiannon Eleanor Day 1,*
1 School of Clinical and Applied Sciences, Leeds Beckett University, CL615A Calverley Building, Leeds LS1 3HE, UK
2 Department of Nutrition, Dietetics & Food, Monash University, Be Active Seep Eat (BASE) Facility, Level 1, 264 Ferntree Gully Road, Notting Hill, VIC 3168, Australia
Vitamin D deficiency is a serious public health issue in the United Kingdom. Those at increased risk, such as pregnant women, children under 5 years and people from ethnic groups with dark skin, are not all achieving their recommended vitamin D. Effective vitamin D education is warranted. A qualitative study was undertaken to evaluate the acceptability and understanding of a vitamin D infographic, developed using recommendations from previous research. Fifteen parents/carers, recruited through local playgroups and adverts on popular parent websites, participated in focus groups and telephone interviews. The majority were female, White British and educated to degree level. A thematic analysis methodology was applied. The findings indicated that understanding and acceptability of the infographic were satisfactory, but improvements were recommended to aid interpretation and create more accessible information. These included additional content (what vitamin D is; other sources; its health benefits; methods/doses for administration and scientific symbols used) and improved presentation (eye-catching, less text, simpler language, more images and a logo). Once finalized, the infographic could be a useful tool to educate families around vitamin D supplementation guidelines, support the UK Healthy Start vitamins scheme and help improve vitamin D status for pregnant and lactating women and young children.