Association of Vitamin D Concentrations With Adiposity Indices Among Preadolescent Children in Korea

J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2013;26(9-10):849-54. doi: 10.1515/jpem-2012-0416.


Background and objective: We aimed to investigate the association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and anthropometric indicators of adiposity among Korean preadolescent children aged 7-9 years.

Subjects and methods: Children aged 7 to 9 from the Ewha Birth & Growth Cohort were followed up from July to August 2011. Serum 25(OH)D concentration was measured using radio immunoassay. We assessed the magnitude of cross-sectional association with vitamin D concentrations and indicators of adiposity [body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), mid-arm circumference (MAC), body fat mass (BFM), percent body fat (PBF), and triceps skinfold thickness (TSF)] using multiple linear and logistic regression analyses adjusted for sex, age, birth order, maternal education, and fruit/fruit juice intake.

Results: Thirty-two (16%) out of a total of 205 children showed an optimal level of serum 25(OH)D, but most children did not reach a sufficient level (<30 ng/mL) even in summer. The level of 25(OH)D was inversely associated with BMI (β=-0.10, p<0.01), WC (β=-0.28, p<0.01), and BFM (β=-0.12, p=0.02) after adjusting for confounding factors and showed marginal boundary with PBF (β=-0.20, p=0.06) and TSF (β=-0.11, p=0.08). Regarding the risk of overweight, a 13% protective effect per 1 ng/mL increase of 25(OH)D was shown even after adjusting for relevant confounding factors (adjusted odds ratio=0.87, 95% confidence interval 0.78-0.98).

Conclusions: We found that the 25(OH)D concentrations were inversely associated with adiposity indices in preadolescent children. This study suggests that adequate vitamin D intake in growing children is crucial to maintain an optimal vitamin D level to prevent obesity and obesity-related health problems later in life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 25-Hydroxyvitamin D 2 / blood
  • Adiposity*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Calcifediol / blood
  • Child
  • Child Development*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / prevention & control
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology
  • Risk
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / prevention & control
  • Waist Circumference


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-Hydroxyvitamin D 2
  • Calcifediol