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Jackson Tucker. Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker

UGA received a $2.2 million grant to explore the role vitamin D plays in children’s health.

The grant follows an August report in the journal Pediatrics showing 60 percent of children and adolescents had insufficient levels of vitamin D. Rick Lewis, professor of foods and nutrition in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences, says the report confirms his findings that female children and adolescents have lower levels of vitamin D than are recommended and that those levels drop as they grow older. Research on older adults also has shown links between vitamin D deficiencies and cancer, diabetes and obesity.

During the two-year study, Lewis and fellow UGA researchers Emma Laing and Dorothy Hausman will team with researchers at Purdue University in providing varying doses of vitamin D supplements to boys and girls ranging in age from 9-13, ages deemed as being on the cusp of rapid growth periods.

The grant was awarded by the National Institutes of Health Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

For more information on the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, go to http://www.fcs.uga.edu.