Kellogg's is adding vitamin D to its kids' cereals to tackle an increase in the number of children suffering from rickets.

The disease causes bones to weaken and can lead to deformities such as bowed legs. It had virtually disappeared by the 1940s, but its return in recent years has prompted Kellogg's to begin adding it to kids' lines.

The strategy includes the development of recent launch Mini Max with added vitamin D. Coco Pops Choc 'n' Roll and Coco Pops Moons & Stars already contain some vitamin D, but levels will be increased by next January.

The supplier will also fortify Rice Krispies and Coco Pops by March, and Frosties, Rice Krispies MultiGrain and Honey Loops by September.

A survey by Kellogg's showed 82% of children's dieticians had seen an increase in cases of rickets in the past five years. And a study of 70 Primary Care Trusts showed a 140% hike between 2001 and 2009 in the number of children younger than 10 admitted to hospital with rickets.

It had been assumed kids would get enough vitamin D from sunlight, said Kellogg's, but today's children weren't getting enough sunlight because of parental fear over sun exposure and because they spent too much time indoors playing video games.

"Rickets is the extreme end of the scale and many more children will be suffering from vitamin D deficiency," said Kellogg's nutrition director Alyson Greenhalgh-Ball.

The company's Ricicles and Special K brands already contain vitamin D, and it was re-introduced to Corn Flakes this January.

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