Health Discoveries in General Health News

Low vitamin D linked to child obesity

May 3, 2011
A University of Pittsburgh pediatrics study found that children who are obese are likely to have a vitamin D deficiency associated with their body mass index, fat levels and reduced "good" (HDL) cholesterol.

Published in the May issue of Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, the researchers also found that among overweight children with a vitamin D deficiency, white children were more likely to store excess fat as visceral adipose tissue between their internal organs. Overweight black children with the vitamin deficiency were more likely to have subcutaneous adipose tissue, or fat that lies under the skin.

"Vitamin D deficiency is rampant in American youth, and there is some suggestion in adults that low levels of vitamin D may be playing a role in the increasing rates of type 2 diabetes. It is possible the same may be true for youth with type 2 diabetes," said lead researcher Dr. Silva Arslanian, of the University of Pittsburgh.

Heart health measures that include weight reduction are part of the community health promotion and education programs of the North Shore-LIJ Health System. Programs include heart screenings in collaboration with the American Heart Association and a heart healthy program for school children in grades K-8.
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