Study finds obesity can 'lead to lack of vitamin D'

Obese Should obese people be treated for vitamin D deficiency?

Related Stories

Obesity can lower vitamin D levels in the body, a study suggests.

The report, in the journal PLOS Medicine, analysed genetic data from 21 studies - a total of 42,000 people.

It found every 10% rise in body mass index (BMI) - used as an indicator of body fat - led to a 4% drop of available vitamin D in the body.

As vitamin D is stored in fatty tissue, the authors suggest the larger storage capacity in obese people may prevent it from circulating in the bloodstream.

BMI it is calculated by taking weight (in kilograms) and dividing it by height (in metres) squared. Those with a BMI of 30 or above are considered obese.

Lead author Dr Elina Hypponen, from the University College London Institute of Child Health, said the study "highlights the importance of monitoring and treating vitamin D deficiency in people who are overweight or obese".

Vitamin D is made in the skin after sun exposure and can be taken in dietary supplements.

Healthy levels are about 50 nanomole per litre - less than 30 nanomole per litre can cause the softening and weakening of bones, leading to rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.

Prof David Haslam, from the National Obesity Forum, said: "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, shouldn't be forgotten and can help correct both weight and lack of vitamin D."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Health stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Signposts showing the US and UK flagsAn ocean apart

    How British misunderstanding of the US is growing


  • Before and after shotsPerfect body

    Just how reliable are 'before and after' photos?


  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back


  • A cow wearing sunglasses overlaid with the phrase 'Can't touch this'Cow row

    Thousands rally against the ban on beef in India


BBC Future

(Getty Images)

What it’s really like to die

The seven experiences you face at the end Read more...

Programmes

  • Former al-Qaeda double agent Aimen DeanHARDtalk Watch

    Islamic State is about revenge says former al-Qaeda member turned spy Aimen Dean

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.