Vitamin D Deficiency & Childhood Obesity

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-
dihydroxyvitamin 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 this vitamin 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 the 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 programme to combat this present global situation.

Meenu Agarwal

Founder of Food ‘n’ Wellness, a food, and nutrition advisory company based out of Singapore. Meenu is a trained clinical dietitian & holds a Masters degree in Nutrition & Dietetics. She is registered with the Singapore Nutrition and Dietetic Association( SNDA).  She specializes in providing nutrition advice with an emphasis on managing medical conditions like diabetes, cholesterol, acidity, thyroid, blood pressure and weight-related issues. 
Visit  http://www.foodnwellness.com

 

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