Vitamin D Deficiency & Childhood Obesity

Vitamin D Deficiency & Childhood Obesity


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Vitamin D primarily stimulates intestinal calcium and phosphorus absorption, stimulates bone calcium mobilization, and increases renal re-absorption of calcium. Vitamin D must be metabolized to 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 by the liver and subsequently by the kidney to 1,25-di hydroxy vitamin D3 before function.

Vitamin D deficiency has now become an epidemic worldwide, in both pediatric as well as in adult populations, as Obesity. Evidence suggests that there is a potential link between obesity and vitamin D deficiency among global populations particularly among children. The effects of vitamin D deficiency in childhood obesity appear to have negative influences on overall health in later life like- Diabetes Mellitus, Cystic fibrosis, chronic kidney diseases, Cancer etc.

The primary source of vitamin D is sunlight exposure, which has been limited or blocked extensively for many children over the past 20 years due to the association of skin cancer and ultraviolet rays. As obese children are usually sedentary, therefore less likely to play outdoors, their exposure to sunlight may be limited. In addition, unhealthy high caloric food might be low in mineral and vitamin content; both represent risk factors for developing vitamin D deficiency. Bioavailability of vitamin D in obese children might be low because of increased fat deposition. Interventions like vitamin D fortified milk, regular physical activity &maintaining healthy weight, limitations in the use of TV/ computer, oral vitamin D supplementation, exposure to sunlight in early hours of day, consumption of vitamin D rich foods; have also been suggested to improve vitamin D status. Adequate vitamin D supplementation and sensible sunlight exposure to achieve optimal vitamin D status are in the front line among the factors for prophylaxis program to combat this present global situation.

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