A serious disease affecting children is rickets also known as rachitis. It is a dietary deffiency disease primarily affectng infants and children. A defiency of vitamin D impairs the ability of the body to metabolize calcium. Because the disease is caused by dietary defiency, it is thus often associated with poverty. This leads to a softening of the bone structure and resulting deformities. Children are especially affected because their bones are developing and thus rickits can lead to life-long deformities. The disease can be prevented by adequate intake of vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorous. It is the primary reason that vitamin is commonly added to milk. A reader writes to us, "It looks to me that this boy has Rachitis or Rickets." This may well be, but note that the Berlin boy here photographed about 1910 does not come from a poor family. The way he is dressed, surely he must cime from a well-to-do family. You would not think that he would have a dietary definincy disease.
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