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Heavier kids more vitamin D deficient, especially if dark skinned – Pediatrics Dec 2012

Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency Among Overweight and Obese US Children

Pediatrics, December 24, 2012, (doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-1711)
Christy B. Turer, MD, MHSa,b, Hua Lin, PhDa, and Glenn Flores, MDa,b
A Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas; and
B Children’s Medical Center, Dallas, Texas

OBJECTIVE: Adequate vitamin D is essential for skeletal health in developing children. Although excess body weight is associated with risk of vitamin D deficiency, the national prevalence of and risk factors associated with vitamin D deficiency in overweight and obese children are unknown.

METHODS: The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (defined as 25-hydroxyvitamin-D <20 ng/mL) was determined in a sample of 6- to 18-year-old children who were enrolled in a cross-sectional study (the 2003–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) in which body weight and height were measured directly. Children were classified as healthy-weight, overweight, obese, or severely obese by using recommended age- and gender-specific BMI-percentile cut points. Associations between BMI-percentile classification and vitamin D deficiency were examined after adjustment for relevant confounders. Sample weights were used to generate nationally representative estimates.

RESULTS: The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in healthy-weight, overweight, obese, and severely obese children was 21% (20% – 22%), 29% (27% – 31%), 34% (32% – 36%), and 49% (45% – 53%), respectively. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in severely obese white, Latino, and African-American children was 27% (3% – 51%), 52% (36% – 68%), and 87% (81% – 93%), respectively. Compared with healthy-weight children, overweight, obese, and severely obese children had significantly greater adjusted odds of vitamin D deficiency. Modifiable factors associated with vitamin D deficiency in overweight/obese children were identified.

CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in overweight and obese children.
The particularly high prevalence in severely obese and minority children suggests that targeted screening and treatment guidance is needed.


Summary by VitaminDWiki

Heaviness% Deficient
All skin color
% Deficient
Dark skin
Healthy21 %27 %
Overweight29 %52 %
Obese34 %87 %
Severely Obese 49 %93 %

See also VitaminDWiki

See also web

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