While these stats are alarming, they aren’t all that surprising. Vitamin D isn’t found in abundance in too many foods. (Things like wild salmon and fortified milk and yogurt are the exception.) And the only other way to get the nutrient is by exposing your bare skin to sunlight, something desk-bound office workers aren’t often able to do.
Taking a blood test is the best way to find out if you’re deficient in the nutrient, and insurance and Medicaid often cover the expenses, says Carole Baggerly, the director of GrassrootsHealth, a non-profit that aims to increase awareness about vitamin D deficiency. (Your levels should be between 45 to 50 µg/mL.) While trekking to the doctor to get poked with a needle may not be on your list of Fun Things To Do, it’s definitely a good use of your time—especially if you fall into any of these at-risk group.