Even though individuals who eat to excess would seemingly have access to all the vitamins and minerals they would ever need, research has shown that obese teens are almost universally vitamin D-deficient.
The study, which appears in the Journal of Adolescent Health, determined that among the 68 obese teens who participated, all of the girls had lower than adequate levels of the nutrient, and 72 percent were had a diagnosable deficiency.
Similarly, 91 percent of obese male volunteers were found to have too little vitamin D in their blood, and 69 percent had a full-blown deficiency.
Even after a course of treatment, just 28 percent of participants were able to normalize their blood levels of the nutrient. The study’s authors, who hail from the Hasbro Children’s Hospital, said that this trend was particularly disturbing, since the vitamin is essential for a number of vital bodily functions.
As to why obese adolescents tend to be vitamin D-deficient, researcher theorized that most of their intake of the nutrient ended up stored in their fat cells. Likewise, teens who eat a poor diet may consume few of the foods such as mushrooms, liver, eggs and fortified milk that contain vitamin D.
Taking dietary supplements may be able to boost otherwise insufficient levels of key minerals and nutrients.