Rickets in East London

As you may know in my other blog
http://www.cyclingbookreviews.wordpress.com, I have been reading about a woman cyclist-midwife who was working in East London who wrote a book called ‘Call the Midwife’. Anyway, I’m still reading this excellent book and one of the things she mentions about her time in East London is Rickets.

She was saying that many children had rickets in her day because of lack of Vitamin D ie absence of drinking milk, meats and living in areas where large buildings ‘block the sunlight’. She also said that women who have had rickets in childhood, because of their deformed pelvis, have had problems giving birth and often some children have died, not to mention the mother.

In these days where people jump in cars all the time and don’t get adequate sunlight or work long hours in offices where architects ensure the human body doesn’t natural liight and people not being on the right diet, rickets still is going on in this country. So if people are stuck in doors etc they’re not going to get adequate Vitamin D unless they take supplements or eat properly. At least with cyclists, they can access to Vitamin D ‘naturally’.

Muslim women walking round London covered in black aren’t going to get Vitamin D or if they’re going round in cars all the time. Fortunately, some of these women are going cycling which will help although no doubt they will be covered from head to foot mostly. So when do they get any sunlight?

I have dug out an article from the Daily Mail last year:-

“Pregnant women are being urged to take vitamin D pills to prevent rickets affecting their babies.

The Government wants women to consider taking the supplement if they are expecting or breastfeeding.

Health workers are seeing more children than ever with vitamin D deficiency, which can lead to seizures and make the bones fail to grow properly.

It was thought that rickets had virtually been eliminated after the war, although children in developing countries still suffered from the bowed legs and fragile bones associated with the disorder.

But the changing lifestyle of UK with many spending long periods indoors may be contributing to a resurgence”

As large buildings go up in the City and everywhere else, architects should ensure that basic human needs such as natural light, are accessible to employees. Even my own optician has to work in an office that has no window but this kind of thing, should be illegal. Instead of just giving out supplements all the time, perhaps people should just eat better and get out more! Supplements are a cop out when the Government should be doing a lot more about this issue.

5 responses to “Rickets in East London

  1. Some time ago now there was a Series on about Edmund Scott and Roald Amunsden racing for the South Pole. They set up a Modern version and Reenacted it again with the Two Different Parties ,Norwegian and British with the same Vintage Equipment and Food.

    Of course Amunsden got there first because it was better Planned and he used Dogs also better Food.
    He made sure he brought plenty of Fish ,Oranges and Marmalade . So his Team had Plenty of Vitamin D whereas The British had a very Fatty Meat Diet and Hard Tack. Hard Tack or Ships Biscuits is made without Animal Fat so as not to go Bad, the Modern Version is Carrs Water Biscuits made nearly the same way and by the same Company .

    So the British Team got Vitamin D problems which also caused some Heart problems as well as loss of Energy and Joint and Bone problems.

    Years ago all over these Islands the People Suffered from Rickets up to the 1960ties Britain and Ireland.

  2. I should have said on Television. Scotts Team was more a Scientific one than merely an Exploration Team unlike Roald Amunsden. When Amunsden’s Dogs were no longer needed he Shot them and Ate their Meat. The British had Ponies to pull their Sledges at first until the Animals Died and then Manhauled the Sledges themseles.

    When Scott got to the South Pole he discovered that Amunsden got there a Month before,so dejected he headed back to the Coast.
    About 9 Miles from a Food Dump they could not go on any further and gradually Died. Scott left his Diaries behind for the Grisley Story to be Told.

  3. Yes, not surprised Scott didn’t get there really. Horsemeat is also one of the best meats you can eat, what a waste of horse meat. I suppose the British public would be up in arms if they ate the horse meat. It’s a bit ridiculous really, we should not waste things like the Chinese and eat most things, we never know if there will be a famine. Saying that, I cannot stand the stuff but if needs must then I’d have to eat it.

    I always find that the British breakfast is hugely unhealthy and no one dares ‘to change the tradition’ even in the 21st century!

    When I looked after horses, we had to give them the right food which would affect their health and performance but we humans seem to get given any old crap really. The problem is some of this crap tastes rather nice! However, in order to help get Scott achieve his target, just to get him to eat the right foods would have been a great start in the first place. It feels a bit weird scoffing marmalade mind you.. but ship biscuits seem a bit more ‘
    explorish’ though!

  4. Neither Scott or Amunsden were clued in very well as to Vitamins, this was a 100 Years ago.

    The Fatty Food was Chunks of Fat and Meat for Energy. When they were Filming this Reenactment the People Playing Scotts Team were getting Sick while they were trying to get used to this Stuff before they Headed off.

    The British Party used Heavy Woolen Clothes, Granddaddy Long Johns and other Woolens over that and Finally Canvas Type Kind of Parka’s.
    The Norwegians used Light but Extremely Warm Animal Furs, Amunsden Borrowed the Idea from the Eskimo’s,and he was more used to the Northern Artic Climate being Norwegian and he knew all the Techniques of Survival on the Ice compared to Scott.
    It was said at the time that Scott could have tried Harder to get to Safety but they reasoned he just gave up in Despair after Amunsden got to the Pole instead of him.

  5. As to Horse Meat I dont know,I suppose I would try it. Hard to say the Idea Appalls me,Iwas in Belgium in 05 but I did not see any. Not a lot of People Eating a Fry up on a Regular Basis now,they are all watching their Weight or Health over Here. But it is something for the Weekend on Saturday or Sunday Morning only.

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