Low Vitamin D Levels Seen in Obese Children

Signs of insulin resistance, too, seen with sub-par vitamin D levels

FRIDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) have been seen in children with obesity and are associated with early signs of diabetes, according to research published online Nov. 9 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Micah L. Olson, M.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues collected data on 411 obese children and 87 normal-weight children (all 6 to 16 years of age) in North Texas to compare the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency between the two groups. The relationship between diet and vitamin D levels as well as the relationship between vitamin D levels and metabolism and blood pressure were examined.

The researchers noted 25(OH)D levels below 75 nmol/L among 92 percent of obese children, and below 50 nmol/L in 50 percent of obese children, compared with 68 and 22 percent of non-obese children, respectively. Low vitamin D levels were also associated with markers of insulin resistance as well as with dietary habits such as skipping breakfast and consuming soda and juice.

"Vitamin D deficiency is common in children in this southern United States location, and is significantly more prevalent in obese children. Lower 25(OH)D level is associated with risk factors for type 2 diabetes in obese children," the authors write.

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