Barriers to vitamin D supplementation among military physicians

Mil Med. 2009 Mar;174(3):302-7. doi: 10.7205/milmed-d-01-4708.


Objective: We surveyed military pediatricians and family physicians about barriers to vitamin D supplementation.

Methods: We obtained lists of uniformed members of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Academy of Family Practice (AAFP). Three hundred individuals were randomly selected from each group and surveyed about: (1) practice habits; (2) vitamin D use and barriers to supplementation; (3) demographic factors.

Results: Pediatricians were 40% more likely to be aware of AAP recommendations about vitamin D (p < 0.001) and 40% more likely to prescribe vitamin D to exclusively breastfed infants (p < 0.001). The most common reason for not recommending vitamin D was the belief that breastfed infants received adequate sunlight.

Conclusions: Most military pediatricians supplement breastfed infants with vitamin D. Military family physicians are less likely to supplement breastfed infants and are targets for educational interventions. Many physicians mistakenly believe that adequate sunlight exposure prevents vitamin D deficiency, another focus for future interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use
  • Breast Feeding
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dietary Supplements / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutrition Disorders / prevention & control
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Military Medicine*
  • Military Personnel*
  • Nutritional Status
  • Pediatrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Physicians, Family / statistics & numerical data
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Quality of Health Care / standards
  • Quality of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • United States
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use*
  • Young Adult


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Vitamin D