Previous research has found higher rates of vitamin D deficiency in obese communities and lower vitamin D levels have been associated with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The mechanisms by which obesity and its co morbidities are associated with vitamin D deficiency are unknown.
This research looked at associations between dietary habits and vitamin D levels in obese children, and also examined if vitamin D levels correlated with markers of abnormal blood pressure and glucose metabolism.
Higher degrees of insulin resistance were discovered in obese children having low vitamin D levels. Low vitamin D levels are much more prevalent in obese children and are linked to risk factors for type 2 diabetes, suggesting that low vitamin D levels could be involved in the development of type 2 diabetes.
Serum insulin, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, BMI and vitamin D levels were measured in 411 obese children and 87 control non-overweight children. The children were also requested to give dietary information such as daily intake of milk, juice soda, and average daily vegetable and fruit intake, and if they routinely skipped breakfast or not.
Bad dietary habits like increased juice and soda intake as well as skipping breakfast were linked to the low vitamin D levels observed in obese children. More research is required to establish the clinical significance of low vitamin D levels in obese children, the duration and amount of treatment needed to replenish vitamin D levels in these children and if treatment with vitamin D can improve primary clinical endpoints like insulin resistance.