The National Institute of Nutrition has found that more than 50 percent of Vietnamese children fail to get enough vitamins or iron in their daily meals.

Surveys conducted by the Institute showed the rate of Vietnamese children lacking different kinds of vitamins, namely A, B1, C and D, was higher than Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand in the region.

The surveys on nutrition in Southeast Asia were jointly carried out by the Vietnam Nutrition Association and the Friesland Campina Institute.

Project coordinator from the institute Le Nguyen Bao Khanh was quoted by Vietnam News as saying that the surveys were conducted at the same time in each country to provide a comparison.

They showed the number of children in urban areas lacking vitamins was higher than in rural areas. Girls in urban areas led the list of children lacking vitamins, their rate being 50 percent.

Khanh said parents should be informed about the importance of vitamins in children's development and families need to adjust their habits.

Nutritionists said the two sources of vitamins were food and sunshine.

Vietnamese people's meals lacked more vitamins than the other three countries and did not meet children’s development needs.

Institute Director Le Thi Hop said the main source of vitamin D from food was eggs, milk and meat.

Children need to be given one egg per day whereas adults could have 2-3 and children under one year old need exposure to sun, especially in their first three months.-VNA