Will the Welsh Government ensure that vitamin D supplements are made freely available to the poorest families, to residents in nursing homes, as well as to children?
Welsh Government dietary advice is based on recommendations from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN). SACN is an independent expert group that advises UK governments based on all available, relevant and robust evidence, and using data on the dietary intakes and lifestyles of people in the UK. Our recommendations on vitamin D – the levels required for health, the need for supplementation in which groups and at what times, are based on their advice. In 2016 the Committee published a comprehensive review on vitamin D and health and has since published rapid reviews on updated evidence of on vitamin D and acute respiratory tract infections (ARTI). The Committee is keeping a watching brief on emerging evidence on vitamin D and will review and revise their recommendations to the UK Governments accordingly.
The Welsh Government continues to support people in Wales, and particularly those in vulnerable groups, to have adequate nutritional health, including taking vitamin D supplements where necessary. All infants and young children, as well as pregnant women and breast feeding mothers, in the most deprived families can access free Healthy Start vitamins containing vitamin D. We have also written to care homes from the Chief Medical and Nursing Officers to stress the importance of taking a vitamin D supplement all year round.