Obesity and Vitamin D Deficiency

vitamin d benefits

Though many people do not know this, but low levels of vitamin D in a child can lead to the child being obese and even developing a serious condition of diabetes. In a recent study conducted by the University of Texas and the Southwestern Medical Center, situated in Dallas, revealed that there is an a strong link between deficiency of Vitamin D and insulin resistance, obesity and even the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The study which monitored several obese children and their respective levels of serum insulin, blood sugar, blood pressure and their dietary patterns along with their Vitamin D levels, suggested that the children with the lowest levels of Vitamin D were not only the most obese, but also had the highest insulin resistance and thereby being at the highest risk of developing prediabetes. The study also established a relationship between poor dietary patterns and low Vitamin D levels as well as a risk of developing diabetes. In the study, teenagers and older children had the lowest levels of Vitamin D, due to their habit of skipping breakfast and consuming more of soda.


Incidentally, the findings of this study are pretty much in sync with the findings of a study conducted by the Hasbro University in 2011, which was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. According to the study majority of obese children that were observed were found to have either deficient or insufficient levels of Vitamin D. The study also revealed that attempts to increase the Vitamin D levels in these obese children were also not unchallenging. For instance, the standard supplement of Vitamin D that was given to these children brought about an improvement in the Vitamin D levels of only 43% of the obese adolescent children. Repeated supplements did not register any increase in the above mentioned percentage. If many experts are to be believed, then obesity has reached alarming levels in most countries. About 18% of the children in America are obese, which triples the number of children found to be obese about 40 years ago. This trend is not limited to U.S only, as according to the findings of University of Bristol, one out of every five children are obese in U.K.


Vitamin D deficiency, which was formerly related to weak, brittle bones and bone diseases like Rickets, is now also associated with various other serious health problems.  Apart from weakening the bones and causing various other skeletal diseases, Vitamin D deficiencies can also lead up to dental problems, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular problems, hypertension, asthma and cancer. It is recommended that children and adults of up to 70 years of age, be given at least 600 IU of Vitamin D. Also, ample exposure to the sun is also known to stimulate Vitamin D in the skin. However, there are some people who are unable to get enough sun exposure due to their geographical locations and temperature extremes of the regions in which they live. Such instances may amount up to serious deficiency of Vitamin D. In line with this risk, people are recommended to encourage their children to go outdoors so that their bodies can get their fair share of sun exposure. Also, they should try to include more of Vitamin D rich foods like cereals, dairy products or fortified milk, in their child’s diet so that their bodies are not deficient in Vitamin D.


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