Some experts say kids may take vitamins they don't need

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR--"Generally speaking, as long as they're taking in a well balanced diet, there's no need to add additional supplementation," said Doctor Shane Speights.

Dr. Speights is a UAMS Assistant Professor of Medicine.

A new report out shows that vitamin supplements are a billion dollar business and some kids may be taking supplements they simply don't need.

"These are vitamins they should be getting everyday with their normal breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks in between.   No need to add any more vitamins," said Dr. Speights.

Dr. Speights says children  eating table food and taking a well balanced diet that way should get everything they need that way.  Dr. Speights says if you do want or need to start adding supplements--ask questions first.

"It's always advised when you're looking at supplementing or giving any sort of medication to your child or even if you're wanting to take it yourself, that you speak with your healthcare professional or your physician," said Dr. Speights.

Dr. Speights says those popular children's multi-vitamins are generally not harmful to a child when taken appropriately of course.

"They're just not necessary if they're taking in a normal, regular, well balanced diet," said Dr. Speights.

Dr. Speights adds there's always a segment of the population that will need some sort of vitamin supplement or have a nutrient need for whatever reason.  Again, he says always consult a doctor to find out what specifically is needed and how much.

"Anytime you're considering starting your child on a medication, even if it's an over the counter medication or vitamin, you should speak with your physician about that to see if that's what's best for your child," said Dr. Speights.

Dr. Speights says recent data from infants and toddlers shows many  are not getting the nutrients they need--taking in too much junk food and sodas.  They are things that a young developing child should not be taking in.  Again, he adds if there's a well balanced diet, generally speaking vitamin supplements would not be needed.

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