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The ABC of Vitamin D: A Qualitative Study of the Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Vitamin D Deficiency amongst Selected Population Groups

Priority Research Centre for Translational Neuroscience and Mental Health, Level 5 McAuley Building, Mater Hospital, Cnr Edith & Platt Streets, Waratah, NSW, 2298, Australia
Priority Research Centre in Health Behaviour, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Hunter Medical Research Institute, Newcastle, 2305, Australia
Translational Cancer Research Unit, Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, South Western Sydney Clinical School, UNSW Medicine, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2170, Australia
Cancer Council NSW, PO Box 572 Kings Cross, NSW, 1340, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2013, 5(3), 915-927;
Received: 29 January 2013 / Revised: 25 February 2013 / Accepted: 8 March 2013 / Published: 15 March 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin D and Human Health)
PDF [358 KB, uploaded 15 March 2013]


Objective: In Australia, vitamin D supply in food is limited, and sun exposure is the main source of vitamin D. However skin cancer risk is high, and the need to gain some sun exposure for adequate vitamin D is challenging public health messages to use protection in the sun. The complex vitamin D public health message may be confusing the public and, in particular, those at highest risk for vitamin D deficiency. This study explored vitamin D and sun exposure attitudes, knowledge and practices of some groups considered at risk of vitamin D deficiency and those delivering healthy sun exposure messages to children. Method: 52 adults participated in six focus groups. Results: Results corroborated with previous research showing low levels of vitamin D knowledge. Individual and environmental barriers to receiving adequate sun exposure were also identified. Conclusions and Implications: The message advocating balanced sun exposure to produce adequate vitamin D needs to be made clearer and be more effectively communicated. Findings provide insights to aid development of appropriate public health messages for safe sun exposure and vitamin D, especially for vulnerable groups. View Full-Text
Keywords: vitamin D; focus groups; knowledge and attitudes vitamin D; focus groups; knowledge and attitudes
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Bonevski, B.; Bryant, J.; Lambert, S.; Brozek, I.; Rock, V. The ABC of Vitamin D: A Qualitative Study of the Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Vitamin D Deficiency amongst Selected Population Groups. Nutrients 2013, 5, 915-927.

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