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07 Nov 2022

19th Nov 2018

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Question No. 2325

To ask the Minister for Health what is the estimated percentage of the population that is deemed deficient in Vitamin D and whether there are measures to increase awareness of the risks associated with Vitamin D deficiency.

Written Reply

1          Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium by the body, which in turn keeps our bones strong and healthy.  Most people obtain Vitamin D from skin exposure to sunlight, supplemented with dietary sources.  A lack of Vitamin D may put a person at higher risk of conditions such as osteoporosis.  Other effects still being studied include the impact on immune function.

2          According to the National Health Survey in 2010, 40% and 8% respectively of Singaporeans were deficient and very deficient for Vitamin D. However, not all people with Vitamin D deficiency would experience an impact on their health.  Our survey findings are also comparable to other countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, and South Korea. 

3          To ensure adequate levels of Vitamin D and proper absorption of calcium by the body, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) recommends a diet containing foods rich in Vitamin D, such as eggs and oily fish, and at least 5 – 30 minutes of sun exposure at least twice a week.  To promote adequate nutrition, HPB rolled out ‘The Recipe for Healthy Ageing,’ a toolkit designed to raise awareness on nutritional requirements for seniors aged 50 and above, and guide them on food sources that would meet their dietary needs. 

Category: Parliamentary QA