Most everyone in the FoodFacts.com community knows that we are always gathering as much information as we can on the current obesity epidemic affecting our population. We try to stay on top of research that points to possible causes of obesity as well as the negative effects of obesity. Today we found this important, new information.
It appears that being obese can cause a deficiency in Vitamin D. This important vitamin aids the body in the absorption of calcium. It’s vital to maintaining healthy bones. The study also finds that the reverse equation – increasing Vitamin D intake – won’t do anything to help obese people lose weight.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that obesity affects over one-third of the American population. Obesity increases the risk of diabetes, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, stroke and coronary heart disease. This new study adds to that list.
This new study linked obesity to Vitamin D deficiencies. Prior studies had linked the two conditions, but this new study was the first that explored whether Vitamin D deficiency affected obesity risk – or if obesity caused Vitamin D deficiency.
We’ve posted more than a few reports regarding Vitamin D deficiency on our blog in recent months, as it has grown to be a concern worldwide. Vitamin D is produced by the body when ultraviolet rays from the sun are absorbed by the skin and processed into the fat-soluble vitamin. It naturally occurs in several foods and can be taken as a supplement.
For this study, researchers studied genetic markers from about 42,000 participants to find a connection between body mass and vitamin D, as well as an about another 123,000 subjects to confirm results.
What they found was fascinating and fairly unmistakable. For each 10 percent rise in body mass index (BMI), there was a 4 percent drop in vitamin D concentration. The statistics held true for both genders, regardless of age.
It was noted that it had been previously suggested that obesity can be caused by the body’s natural response to winter months. There is less sun help the body develop the vitamin and circulate it in the body. Since Vitamin D is stored in the fatty tissue, however, the researchers believe that the larger fat amount in obese people can cause vitamin D to be continually stored instead of circulated.
The researchers stressed that the study should remind people about the importance of physical activity, noting that while food intake and genetics play a role in the obesity epidemic, physical activity can positively affect both weight and Vitamin D levels.
FoodFacts.com will continue to actively look for information that helps us to understand the obesity epidemic. We’re hopeful that the growing body of research on obesity will lead us to the solutions needed slow down the progression of the epidemic and eventually eradicate it from the population.