Vitamin D deficiency is associated with different types of obesity in black and white children

April 27, 2011

A recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) found that while black and white children with vitamin D deficiency both had higher fat levels, black children were more likely to have higher levels of fat just under their skin and white children were more likely to have higher levels of fat between their internal organs.

Studies in adults and children have shown a link between obesity and deficiency. However, data characterizing the racial differences in the relationship between obesity and vitamin D, particularly in fat tissue distribution are limited. This study examined the racial differences in the relationship between vitamin D status, BMI, , fat distribution and lipid levels in healthy obese and non-obese 8-18 year old black and white children.

"Vitamin D deficiency is rampant in American youth, and there is some suggestion in adults that low levels of vitamin D may be playing a role in the increasing rates of type 2 diabetes. It is possible the same may be true for youth with type 2 diabetes," said Silva Arslanian, MD, of the University of Pittsburgh and lead author of the study. "Our study found that vitamin D was associated with higher fat levels and lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as good cholesterol, in both black and white children."

In this study, researchers measured vitamin D levels in 237 children and found the majority of the study participants were vitamin D deficient. Plasma vitamin D levels were associated inversely with BMI and fat levels and positively with HDL cholesterol in all subjects. Visceral adipose tissue (fat between internal organs) was higher in vitamin D deficient whites and subcutaneous adipose tissue (fat below the skin) was higher in vitamin D deficient blacks compared with their respective vitamin D non-deficient counterparts.

"Besides therapeutic interventions to correct the high rates of vitamin D deficiency in youth, benefits of vitamin D optimization on fat levels, lipid profile and risk of type 2 diabetes need to be explored," said Arslanian.

More information: The article, "Vitamin D status, adiposity and lipids in Black American and Caucasian children," appears in the May 2011 issue of JCEM.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Postmenopausal women should still steer clear of HRT: task force

December 12, 2017
(HealthDay)—Yet again, the nation's leading authority on preventive medicine says postmenopausal women should avoid hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Will 'AI' be part of your health-care team?

December 12, 2017
(HealthDay)—Artificial intelligence is assuming a greater role in many walks of life, with research suggesting it may even help doctors diagnose disease.

State-level disclosure laws affect patients' eagerness to have their DNA tested

December 12, 2017
Different types of privacy laws in U.S. states produce markedly different effects on the willingness of patients to have genetic testing done, according to a new study co-authored by an MIT professor.

Babies born during famine have lower cognition in midlife

December 12, 2017
Hunger and malnutrition in infancy may lead to poor cognitive performance in midlife, according to a new study.

Full moon linked to increased risk of fatal motorcycle crashes

December 11, 2017
The full moon is associated with an increased risk of fatal motorcycle crashes in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, finds a study in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

'Man flu' may be real

December 11, 2017
The much-debated phenomenon of "man flu" may have some basis in fact, suggests an article published in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.