A new study recently published in the Journal of Pediatrics, suggests that extra weight on a child may mean a greater risk for health complications than originally thought.
The study linked obesity to vitamin D deficiency, one of the most important “vitamins” to overall human health and vital functioning, including healthy skeletal development in children.
Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas investigated a large diverse population of African American, Latino and white children, ages six to 18 years old, and divided them, by height and weight measurements, into four separate groups: healthy weight, overweight, obese and severely obese.
They determined that vitamin D deficiency was “highly prevalent in overweight and obese children”, with deficient levels of vitamin D in 21 percent of healthy weight children, 29 percent of overweight children and 34 percent obese children and 49 percent severely obese.
Among the studied population group, African American and Latino children were found to have a higher rate of vitamin D deficiency, at 87 percent and 52 percent respectively.
In comparison, vitamin D deficiency levels were much lower in white children, at 27 percent.
Other findings were published previously in the Journal Pediatrics, which found that 70 % of all children in the U.S. have low vitamin D levels. At the time, Dr. Juhi Kumar of Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center described these findings as “shocking.”