|dc.description.abstract||Background: Vitamin D is a major public health concern across the UK. Despite inconsistent
and inconclusive messages on vitamin D potentially resulting in confusion and
misunderstandings in the general population, the knowledge of the UK population is unknown.
Strategies including fortification and supplementation are being encouraged to improve status,
however little is known about perceptions to these. Although a number of studies have been
carried out on knowledge and attitudes towards vitamin D in other countries these are not
generalizable to the UK. The aim of this study is to identify the level of knowledge, attitudes
and perceptions to Vitamin D, sun exposure fortification and supplementation in the UK
population. This may help develop effective clinical and public health strategies to improve
vitamin D status.
Methods: An online questionnaire was used to assess knowledge, attitudes and perceptions to
vitamin D, sun exposure, fortification and supplementation of the wider UK population.
Results: In total 290 participants (19-76 years) completed the questionnaire. The UK
population have a moderately good level of vitamin D knowledge, mixed attitudes towards
vitamin D while a considerable number of individuals have positive attitudes towards sun
exposure and food fortification. Poor supplement use is observed and supplement use is
associated with better vitamin D knowledge, those concerned about vitamin D status and
individuals living in England.
Conclusion: This study highlights the need to implement effective, consistent and
understandable public health messages and educational strategies across various platforms, to
increase the populations awareness of vitamin D which seems essential to improve vitamin D
status. Effective food fortification strategies also require further investigation. Further studies,
including a questionnaire validation study is required to further strengthen these findings.
Key Words: Vitamin D, UK, knowledge, fortification, supplementation||en