Body Mass Index is a Strong Predictor of Vitamin D Deficiency in Multiethnic Obese Children

Srimathi Kannan*, Paul Visintainer, Harish B. Ganguri, Rushika Conroy, Meghana Gudala and Chrystal Wittcopp

Body Mass Index is a Strong Predictor of Vitamin D Deficiency in Multiethnic Obese Children.

Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in the pediatric population. Evidence suggests that
obese children are more prone to vitamin D deficiency than non-obese children, with the degree of deficiency directly related to the degree of adiposity. To our knowledge, however, there are no recent data available on the predictors of low 25(OH)D levels among multiethnic obese children.

The etiology of vitamin D deficiency is multifactorial. Proposed risk factors include race/ethnicity,6
lack of sufficient sunlight exposure, insufficient activity,8 decreased consumption of vitamin D-containing foods such as fish and fortified dairy products, malabsorptive states,10 increased vitamin D degradation and increased body weight. Other predictors of low vitamin D status in healthy children include age,11 gender11 and socio-economic status.

In children, vitamin D is essential for skeletal health. Deficiency in children has also been linked to increased risk of allergies and asthma,13 and cardiovascular risk markers. In obese children, low levels of vitamin D may play a role in the pathophysiology of impaired glucose tolerance. It is therefore essential to know what factors predict vitamin D deficiency in children. The objective of the study is to examine the association between vitamin D deficiency and BMI z-score (BMIZ) in
obese children. We hypothesize that predictors of deficient serum 25(OH)D in obese children will be low dairy intake, ethnicity, season and higher BMIZ. Our data suggests that those children with high BMIZ≥2.5 had lower serum 25(OH)D levels as compared to those with low BMIZ<2.5. 

Obes Res Open J. 2016; 4(1): 11-18.doi: 10.17140/OROJ-4-128