Vitamin D deficiency contributes to poor mobility among severely obese people

April 15, 2014

Among severely obese people, vitamin D may make the difference between an active and a more sedentary lifestyle, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

The study found severely obese people who also were D-deficient walked slower and were less active overall than their counterparts who had healthy vitamin D levels. Poor physical functioning can reduce quality of life and even shorten lifespans.

Severe obesity occurs when a person's body mass index (BMI) exceeds 40. About 6.5 percent of American adults are severely obese.

"People with already are eight times more likely to have poor physical function than people with a healthy BMI," said one of the study's authors, Tomás Ahern, MB, BCh, BAO, of St. Columcille's Hospital and St. Vincent's University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. "Poor vitamin D status contributes to the deterioration of physical function in this population. Among those with severe obesity, 43 percent are at risk of vitamin D deficiency."

The cross-sectional study examined physical functioning and vitamin D levels in 252 severely . Participants were timed as they walked 500 meters and climbed up and down a single step 50 times. They also provided estimates of their physical activity.

Researchers took a blood sample to measure each participant's vitamin D levels. For analysis, the study population was divided into three groups based on vitamin D levels.

The study found the group with the highest vitamin D levels had the fastest walking times and highest amount of self-reported physical activity. This group also had the lowest average BMI of the study participants.

"Improving vitamin D status should improve quality of life and may decrease the risk of early death in people with severe obesity," Ahern said. "This could be a simple matter of spending more time outside, since sun exposure can boost the body's natural vitamin D production."

Explore further: Vitamin D deficiency may compromise immune function

More information: The study, "Association between Vitamin D Status and Physical Function in the Severely Obese," was published online, ahead of print.

Related Stories

Vitamin D deficiency may compromise immune function

February 25, 2014
Older individuals who are vitamin D deficient also tend to have compromised immune function, according to new research accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

Can citrus ward off your risk of stroke?

February 14, 2014
Eating foods that contain vitamin C may reduce your risk of the most common type of hemorrhagic stroke, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual Meeting ...

Fewer children at risk for deficient vitamin D

March 25, 2014
Under new guidelines from the Institute of Medicine, the estimated number of children who are at risk for having insufficient or deficient levels of vitamin D is drastically reduced from previous estimates, according to a ...

Obesity leads to vitamin D deficiency

February 5, 2013
Obesity can lead to a lack of vitamin D circulating in the body, according to a study led by the UCL Institute of Child Health (ICH). Efforts to tackle obesity should thus also help to reduce levels of vitamin D deficiency ...

Low vitamin D levels may contribute to development of Type 2 diabetes

December 5, 2011
A recent study of obese and non-obese children found that low vitamin D levels are significantly more prevalent in obese children and are associated with risk factors for type 2 diabetes. This study was accepted for publication ...

Recommended for you

Engineered protein treatment found to reduce obesity in mice, rats and primates

October 19, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers with pharmaceutical company Amgen Inc. report that an engineered version of a protein naturally found in the body caused test mice, rats and cynomolgus monkeys to lose weight. In their ...

Nearly 4 in 10 U.S. adults now obese (Update)

October 13, 2017
(HealthDay)—Almost forty percent adults in the United States are now obese, continuing an ever-expanding epidemic of obesity that's expected to lead to sicker Americans and higher health care costs.

Tenfold increase in childhood and adolescent obesity in four decades, new study finds

October 10, 2017
The number of obese children and adolescents (aged 5 to 19 years) worldwide has risen tenfold in the past four decades, according to a new study led by Imperial College London and the World Health Organization (WHO). If current ...

Working night shifts may widen your waistline

October 4, 2017
(HealthDay)—Workers who regularly pull overnight shifts may be more prone to pack on the pounds, a new analysis suggests.

Weight loss for adults at any age leads to cost savings, study suggests

September 26, 2017
Helping an adult lose weight leads to significant cost savings at any age, with those savings peaking at age 50, suggests a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study.

U.S. pays a hefty price for obesity

September 26, 2017
(HealthDay)—A U.S. adult who is "healthy" but obese could eventually cost society tens of thousands of dollars in medical care and lost wages, a new study estimates.

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.