Report: Fortified foods pose health risk to kids

A new report suggests nearly half of all U.S. children eight or under eat a harmful amount of vitamins in their food.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
A new report suggests nearly half of all U.S. children eight or under eat a harmful amount of vitamins in their food.

The Environmental Working Group finds more than 100 cereals and more than two-dozen snack bars have quantities of vitamin A, zinc and niacin that are unhealthy for children. That's because the nutrients are added in amounts calculated for adults. The report estimates between fortified foods and supplements that millions of kids in the U.S. are ingesting unhealthy amounts of the three nutrients and it's causing them health problems.

"It can be everything from brittle nails, to nausea, to a flushing reaction or itching, to even something even more serious like liver damage. Or if you're a pregnant woman and you get too much vitamin A, it can actually cause harm to the fetus," said EWG Director of Research Renee Sharp.

A spokesperson for Kellogg's says the report ignores data showing that without fortification many children wouldn't get enough vitamins and minerals in their diets.

The Environmental Working Group says to help reduce the amount of vitamin A, zinc and niacin your kids consume limit the fortified foods to those that contain no more than 20 to 25 percent of the adult daily value for each of the nutrients.
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