Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2010 Oct;35(5):718.
Health Canada, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, 757 Hastings Street West, Vancouver, BC V6C 3E6, Canada (e-mail: sean.mark at hc-sc.gc.ca).
Little is known regarding the vitamin D status of Canadian youth. Our objectives were
(i) to describe the vitamin D status of Quebec youth using a representative sample;
(ii) to examine the relative contributions of diet, physical activity, and fat mass to the variance in plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D(25(OH)D), the best biomarker of vitamin D status; and
(iii) to examine the influence of household income and food insecurity on the intakes of dietary vitamin D, calcium, and dairy foods.
To describe vitamin D status, we used data from the Quebec Child and Adolescent Health and Social Survey (QCAHS), which is a cross-sectional survey representative of Quebec youth aged 9, 13, and 16 years.
For the second objective, 159 youth, aged 8 to 11 years, whose parents (at least one) were obese or had the metabolic syndrome, were used for cross-sectional analysis in the Quebec Adipose and Lifestyle InvesTigation in Youth (QUALITY). Fat mass was measured using dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and physical activity was assessed by an accelerometer. Finally, we analyzed data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), which collected data from 9 to 18 year olds (N = 8960), and was representative of Canadian youth. From this survey a single 24-h dietary recall, measured height and weight, sociodemographic, and food insecurity information were available.
In both the QUALITY and QCAHS study, >90% of youth had suboptimal vitamin D levels (plasma 25(OH)D < 75 nmol·L-1) at the end of winter and beginning of spring.
In the QCAHS study, older youth had a higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D < 27.5 nmol·L-1) (>10%) than younger youth, and girls from low-income households had lower plasma 25(OH)D concentrations.
In the QUALITY study, milk consumption and physical activity had modest associations with plasma 25(OH)D, corresponding to 2.9 nmol·L-1 and 2.1 nmol·L-1 higher plasma 25(OH)D per standard deviation increase in these exposures, respectively.
In the CCHS study, we found evidence that milk intake was being displaced by sweetened beverages among low-income boys and food insecure girls.
We conclude that population-wide measures to increase dietary vitamin D intake should be examined in Canadian youth. PMID: 20962929
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