Topic – Sunlight and Vitamin D

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Read the Following Selection

Read about sunlight, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.

Sunlight and Vitamin D

You have to make decisions about how to keep your body fit. You decide what to eat and how to get enough exercise. You may also decide to stay out of the sunlight and not allow your skin to burn.

Skin cancer caused by being out in the sunlight too much is a health concern. But people need sunlight to make vitamin D. How can you get enough of this nutrient without damaging your skin?

Why You Need Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps bones grow and stay strong. Calcium and other minerals are stored in bones. Your bones need vitamin D to absorb these minerals properly.

Why Do People Not Get Enough Vitamin D?

Your body makes a lot of vitamin D when it gets sunlight. People may avoid sunlight to protect their skin. Where you live can also make it difficult to get vitamin D from sunlight. Why? You may have to cover up to be warm or to cool off. Also, sunlight gets weaker as you move away from the equator. So people who live far from the equator do not get enough vitamin D.

Sunscreen also reduces the amount of sunlight your skin receives. Sunscreen with an SPF of 15 can block 99 percent of your body’s vitamin D production.

Now, show what you know!

Complete some questions about the reading selection by clicking “Begin Questions” below.

Brain Stretch: On a separate piece of paper, draft a persuasive radio commercial to promote the benefits of vitamin D.