Obese Adolescents Often Found To Have Vitamin D Deficiency
Author: Sari Crrossman
Recently, a study was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health which included some disturbing news about obese adolescents and their relatively low levels of vitamin D. They are typically found to be highly vitamin D deficient. Individuals who are deficient in vitamin D are prone to developing osteoporosis as they age. The reason this discovery was so alarming is because these findings were discovered in children who are relatively young.
Vitamin D is formed when people have exposure to the sun’s rays. An individual who lacks sufficient vitamin D will develop symptoms that include weight loss, depression, chronic fatigue and diabetes. They are also more prone to have strokes and heart disease. It is, therefore, crucial, that people have sufficient levels of vitamin D in their bodies. This is true whether they are male or female.
This study found that vitamin D deficiencies were evident pretty evenly between genders. Males tended to be somewhat more deficient in vitamin D than females. This is a serious problem amongst adolescents because vitamin D deficiency cause serious health issues over the long term. The scientists who conducted the study recommended that all physicians should routinely screen their adolescent patients for this deficiency.
Each of the study participants who were found to be vitamin D deficient were treated with vitamin D supplements and were tested again when treatment was concluded. At that time, about 28% of the participants had achieved normal levels of vitamin D in their bloodstreams.
The researchers considered that the teens may not have indicated a greater response to treatment because of the way vitamin D is stored in fat. These teens that participated in the study were obese and therefore had higher levels of fat in their bodies.
This is a serious cause for alarm because nearly 16% of teens in theUnited Statesare obese. These teens are at a much higher risk for many other obesity related health problems, including diabetes. Obesity amongst teens is clearly related to a lack of exercise. The scientists were not clear about whether it was a lack of exposure to the sun or the storage of vitamin D in fat was causing the vitamin D deficiency which they discovered in these study participants.
Nowadays, many teens have switched to vegetarian diets. This can also cause a lack of vitamin D because vitamin D is found in fish oil, fish, beef liver, egg yolks, some types of cheese and many different types of grains. All of these foods may be lacking in a teen’s diet when they are vegetarian.
These findings should cause serious concern amongst health care providers throughout the world. As the obesity rates in teens continue to rise each year, this discovery should indeed be a great source of concern.
Teens who are found to lack vitamin D should be strongly encouraged to take part in more outdoor activities and eat more foods that are rich in vitamin D. Physicians should give serious consideration to making a referral to a nutritionist so that they might receive some guidance about how they can easily add foods which are rich in vitamin D to their diet.