This document aims to provide a literature review of nutritional rickets among infants, children and adolescents. It is intended to provide stakeholders with a summary of the aspects surrounding rickets in public health, including the burden of rickets and its causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment.
As most cases of nutritional rickets are caused by low vitamin D intake and sun exposure and/or low calcium intake, the document focuses on nutritional rickets and discusses the physiology, functions and epidemiology of vitamin D and calcium deficiency and food sources of these nutrients.
The document provides a review of nutritional rickets in infants, children and adolescents, using the approach suggested by The WHO strategy on research for health.
Applying this strategy, the document covers the following areas:
- overview of the history and epidemiology of rickets;
- the magnitude and distribution of nutritional rickets in the population, especially in infants, children and adolescents;
- the causes or determinants of rickets, whether they are biological, behavioural, social or environmental factors;
- potential interventions to prevent or mitigate nutritional rickets in infants, children and adolescents;
- implementation or delivery of solutions through nutritional policies and programmes;
- evaluation of the actions for prevention or treatment of nutritional rickets; and
- current research gaps.