"A Recent study highlights the importance of monitoring and treating vitamin D deficiency in people who are overweight or obese," said the lead author Dr Elina Hypponen from the University College London Institute of Child Health. A team of researchers studied 42,000 participants through analyzing their genetic data, according to the report published in the journal PLOS Medicine.
The study revealed that every 10% rise in body mass index (BMI) led to a 4% drop of vitamin D in the body.
While vitamin D is made in the skin after sun exposure and stored in fatty tissue, the larger fat amount in obese people can cause vitamin D to be stored, instead of circulated throughout the body.
Healthy levels of vitamin D are considered about 50 nanomole per liter, and a person with less than 30 nanomole per liter is diagnosed with vitamin deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency cause the softening and weakening of bones, leading to rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
"Food intake and genetics all play a part in obesity but this research is a reminder that physical activity, like walking the dog or going for a run out in the sunshine, should not be forgotten and can help correct both weight and lack of vitamin D," said Professor David Haslam from the National Obesity Forum.
According to the earlier studies, obesity can also cause a series of health problems such as increased risk for coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and stroke.
Previous research had indicated that 70 percent of people in general do not have sufficient levels of vitamin D.
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PROMETHEUS, Internet Bulletin for Art, News, Politics and Science, Nr. 187, March 2013