In another example of what passes for fair and balanced reporting, a recent wave of media bluster about vitamins being unnecessary came from a study published February 3 in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine.

The study found that nearly a third of U.S. children ages 2 to 17 take a multivitamin or other vitamin or mineral supplement—but many of these kids may not require supplementation and those most in need are the least likely to take supplements, the researchers reported.

In response to the study—which triggered hundreds of media hits—the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) issued a statement pointing out that the researchers failed to mention that other data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the survey used for the study, show that many U.S. children and adolescents fail to consume recommended amounts of vitamins E, C and A, as well as calcium and magnesium. “A daily multivitamin could affordably and safely help fill these nutrient gaps,” said Douglas MacKay, ND, vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs at CRN. Interestingly, only a handful of media outlets included comment from the association or other health experts defending the intake of multivitamins by children. Most articles and news stories simply reported the study findings without providing an alternate view.

Nutrition Business Journal has finished research for their inaugural Healthy Kids issue. They report that there are plenty of opportunities for innovators and entrepreneurs to enter and make a splash in the U.S. children’s nutrition market. Maybe we’ll begin to pay as much attention to our childrens’ nutrition as we seem to do for our pets.

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