Vitamin D Linked with Obesity, Diabetes
The researchers tested 411 obese children between six and sixteen years old for 25-hydroxyvitamin D (indicates available vitamin D) in the blood, along with insulin resistance, fasting glucose and insulin levels. They compared these results with 87 control children subjects, who were the same age but not overweight.
They found that 92% of the obese subjects were deficient in vitamin D, with 50% critically low (below 50 mmol/liter). Among the non-obese subjects, only 22% were critically low in vitamin D.
They also found that low vitamin D levels were associated with higher soda consumption, refined juice consumption and missing breakfast.
Furthermore, they discovered that the type 2 diabetes was more common among those with low vitamin D levels in their bloodstream.
The researchers concluded that, “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.”
While food sources of vitamin D are limited, the easiest way to achieve higher vitamin D levels is through healthy sun exposure.
Olson ML, Maalouf NM, Oden JD, White PC, Hutchison MR. Vitamin D Deficiency in Obese Children and Its Relationship to Glucose Homeostasis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Nov 9.