Hasbro Children's Hospital study has established that the
majority of overweight youth are deficient in vitamin D. The
researchers in the study say that further examination of
vitamin D levels in overweight youth is needed and
additional studies to determine if normalizing vitamin D
levels will help to lower the health risks associated with
obesity. The study is published in the May edition of the
Journal of Adolescent
Health and is now available online in advance of
2007, obesity in youth and young people has reached epidemic
extent, with nearly 16.5% of those between the ages of
10-17. The amplified occurrence of obesity could very well
lead to amplified risk of health problems and diseases
including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and
risk of cancer.
of the aforementioned health consequences of obesity have
also been linked to vitamin D deficiency. Additionally, poor
vitamin D levels are extensively linked with other such
health conditions like muscle performance. When you consider
that overweight children and youth could also have problems
working out and getting exercise (do to decreased muscle
performance), it is a one, two punch. Maybe our parents were
not that off-base when they told us to “drink our milk” when
we were little! That was when vitamin D milk was what we
drank that is.
lead author in the study, is a pediatrician that specializes
in adolescent medicine at Hasbro Children's Hospital, this
doctor said that screening overweight youth for vitamin D
levels by measuring blood levels has become part of the
practice at the Rhode Island children’s hospital since 2007.
this specific new study, this doctor and other researchers
studied the occurrence of low vitamin D status amongst 68
overweight youth, and studied the relevance of treatment of
low vitamin D status in these same youths.
the study, it was determined that low vitamin D levels were
present in every one of the girls and in 91% of the boys. Of
those with lacking vitamin D level or, 43 of them had a
duplicate measurement of vitamin D level after original
treatment. While there was a considerable boost in vitamin D
levels after treatment, serum vitamin D levels stabilized in
only 28% of these patients. Repeat various courses of
vitamin D treatment in the youths participating in this
study that did not stabilize their vitamin D levels after
the first round of treatment, did not stabilize their low
vitamin D levels.
is truly concerning that the occurrence of low vitamin D
level among overweight youth in this study is larger than
reported in the past for ages 10-17 and only 28% of these
youths were even able to reach standard vitamin D levels
through one round of treatment.
chief source of vitamin D is production in our skin.
Achieved through a process that is motivated by exposure to
sun. Also, small amounts of vitamin D are result from
certain foods like oily fish variations, eggs, and from
various fortified foods and of course taking vitamin D.
study does accept that perhaps these children in the study
may have been devoid of eating vitamin D rich foods.
Because of these alarming results in this study not only are
more tests called for, but we must also assess whether
stabilizing vitamin D levels in overweight young people will
help lower the health risks associated with being
overweight. We cannot accept a future where young children
develop the diseases and health conditions that are commonly
associated with much older people than the age group 10-17.
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