There has been a lot of press lately about the population being deficient in Vitamin D – in fact, up to 80% of the Australian population are said to have insufficient levels. 1.
Now we know that Vitamin D plays an intrinsic role in calcium metabolism,the immune and nervous system, bone, heart and kidney health, but in recent research from South America, it is also being linked to obesity in children (in a study by the University of Michigan, pub. in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition). Over a 2 1/2 year period, it was found that as their Vitamin D dropped, their fat layers went up. Of course the flip side is that fat also absorbs Vitamin D, which could be a reason why larger kids may have less Vitamin D in their blood!
I think at the end of the day, it may be a.. contributing factor, but again, it is about balance… sunlight is GOOD for us…just not without sunscreen in the midday sun – a sunscreen with a factor of 8 can theoretically inhibit 95% of Vitamin D production in our skin (American Journal of clinical nutrition). Many kids spend more time on their computer than playing in the outdoors, and may not have the healthiest of diets. The problem of a lack of sunlight is really shown in countries like the UK where in winter (when they hardly ever see the sun!) SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a major problem.
For everyone I recommend diet, especially fish..salmon,Tuna (or a good supplement like BioCeuticals UltraClean EPA/DHA Fish Oil), plus getting the right amount of sun at the right time of day, to ensure a good supply of Vitamin D. If you cant do this however, don’t despair! – BioCeuticals have a fantastic supplement, D3 drops – a quick and efficient way to ensure you’re getting enough!
1.Nowson CA, Margerison C. Med J Aust 2002;177(3):149-52. http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/177_03_050802/now10763_fm.html