Weight and Body Mass Index in Relation to Vitamin D Status in Healthy 4â13 Years Old Children in Saudi Arabia
Background: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity became an epidemiological problem and one of the leading causes of death in developed countries. Obese children seem to be more at risk of developing vitamin D deficiency because of limitation in their physical activity, which results in limited sun exposure and vitamin D deficiency. This study aimed to identify a relationship between body mass index (BMI) and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels. Methods: This retrospective cross-sectional study involved 458 children (47.8% females, and 52.2% males) aged 4-13 years. A questionnaire-based study design was used, followed by height, weight, and vitamin D measurement at an ambulatory pediatric clinic. BMI percentile was determined for each subject according to the WHO and serum vitamin D concentration was classified as deficient, insufficient, or sufficient. Children with chronic serious diseases and those receiving calcium or vitamin D supplementation were excluded. Results: We found 418 (91.3%) children with low vitamin D levels and 37 (8.1%) children with normal vitamin D levels; in 3 (0.6%) children, the vitamin D levels were not available. Significant difference in weight was found among the children with different levels of vitamin D. The mean of log weight in the group with low vitamin D levels was 1.45, while in children with normal vitamin D levels, it was 1.3 (p-value=0.0001). Moreover, BMI showed a similar relationship with serum levels of vitamin D. The mean of log BMI in children with low vitamin D levels was 1.23, and the mean of log BMI in the group with normal vitamin D levels was 1.1 (p-value=0.001). Conclusion: Children with high BMI showed lower levels of vitamin D. Healthy diet, physical activities, early diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency, and definitive management can prevent many complications that could affect child health and cause burden on the community.
Abdulmoein E Al-Agha, Sarah M Shaikhoon, Mada A Sultan and Heba S Alsheikh