Numbers higher in obese Latinos and African-Americans
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/31/2012 -- Nearly 21% of the healthy-weight children were deficient in vitamin D. The deficiency persisted in 29% of those who were classified as overweight, while 34% of the obese experienced the same deficiency. Nearly 50% of those who were severely obese lacked in vitamin D amounts.
Researchers have analyzed data comprised of over 12,000 U.S. Children between the ages of 6 and 18. The children were enrolled in the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
After accounting for factors of vitamin D supplementation and intake of milk, the deficiencies still persisted at higher rates in Latinos and African-Americans. Among the severely obese children, 27% were white, 52% of Latinos, and 87% of African Americans had low accumulation of vitamin D.
"The particularly high prevalence in severely obese and minority children suggests that targeted screening and treatment guidance is needed," the researchers conclude.
Dr. Christy Turer, who presided as a researcher in the study, stated she and her colleagues were routinely checking vitamin D levels in children at specialty clinics. Those found to be within the deficient range were prescribed high-dose vitamin D supplements to be taken weekly. After an eight-week treatment period, their numbers were near normal, and the individuals had their tallies cut back.
Turer recommends that vitamin-D-deficient patients should drink low-fat milk. If they do not find milk appealing, she stated that they can add artificial sweetened calories that add as little as 15 calories per serving to make it more palatable.
"The reason that milk is important is it has not just vitamin D, but it has calcium," she says. Unsweetened soy milk and almond milk are also good sources of vitamin D and calcium, Turer says.
Turer stated that overweight vitamin-D-deficient children should find time away from the various television and computer screens and spend more time in the sun, which is a main source of vitamin D.
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