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Randa A
Sultan , MBBS – Raghda A Sultan , MBBS
– Areej O Mahjoub , MBBS – Abdulmoein E Al-Agha , FRCPCH

Introduction

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Vitamin
D is also known as Calcitriol or 1, 25-Dihydroxycholecalciferol. Vitamin D has
significant role in different physiological systems of human body. It has many
major roles in human body including normal growth. Vitamin D is mainly
considered for its role associated with the health of bones, teeth, and
cartilages as well as calcium absorption, but Vitamin D is also essential for
other mental and developmental functions. Vitamin D deficiency is one of the
major public health problem for all age groups worldwide 1. Vitamin D
deficiency is significantly more prevalent in obese children. In recent years,
the prevalence of obesity has increased, and now it is significantly one of the
major global public health problem 2. Vitamin D is one of the essential
components which needs to be included in the daily diet. It is essential for
activity and proper development of physiological systems of the human body.
Vitamin D causes many health issues and diseases associated with the physical
development, brain, thyroid glands, bones, teeth, and heart.

Vitamin
is one of the vital components to be included in the diet on daily basis. It
strengthens the bones and help in growth and developing by maintaining many
physiological and biochemical processes. Vitamin D is also important for the
absorption of calcium. It has been observed that calcium absorption is also
compromised in case of vitamin D deficiency. There are multiple health related
issues, which are associated with vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency
can also compromise growth and development and may lead to short stature. The
term “short stature” is referred to two or more standard deviations of human
body below the average height for the appropriate age, gender, and race 3.

Annweiler
et al. stated that there is functional association of vitamin D with brain and
many neurological activities 4. Vitamin D is one of the fat-soluble vitamins
and can be synthesized and bioactivated in the human body with sun exposure.
The rich sources of vitamin D are fish, eggs, fortified milk, and cod liver oil
5. Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) greater than the 95th
percentile for age and gender 6. Although, deficiency of vitamin D has
remained as a major public health issue, but there are not enough studies
conducted on vitamin D deficiency among Saudian children.

 

Aim & Objectives of Research. The
aim of this study is to investigate the impact of Vitamin D deficiency on
children growth in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The
main objectives of this research are,

To assess
the association between vitamin D deficiency and obesity.
To evaluate
the link of deficiency of vitamin D with weight and height.
To figure
out the risk of obesity related to vitamin D deficiency.

 

Research Questions. This research seeks
the answers of the below mentioned questions;

What is the
relationship between vitamin D deficiency and obesity?
How does
vitamin D deficiency relate to the weight and height?
How can the
obesity be developed due to deficiency of vitamin D?

 

Disclosure. Authors
have no conflict of interest, and the work was not supported or funded by
any company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Significance of the Study. This study
has made a valuable contribution to the previous work achieved on the
evaluation of the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and obesity. This
study could help healthcare professionals while diagnosing causes of obesity in
children. The relation of weight and height with vitamin D deficiency are also
highlighted in the study supporting previous studies conducted in this context.
This study may add a piece of informative work regarding the vitamin D
deficiency in relation with the obesity in children in Saudi Arabia.

 

Limitations of the Study. This study
cannot be generalized to all the population of the world. The reason is that
this study has taken only children of Saudi Arabia. There are multiple factors
such as environmental and genetic factors that can affect the association of
the vitamin D with the obesity. That is why this study is limited to the
population of Saudi Arabia.

 

Methodology

This
study is based on the cross-sectional study design. Cross-sectional study
design is widely used in the medical researches and studies related to social
sciences.  This study design is a type of
observational study which involves the data collection from a population or a
group of population and then data analysis is performed 7. This type of study
design may also include a characteristic subsection to estimated results at a
specific point in time. The main purpose of selecting this study design is to
evaluate descriptive issues. This method is mostly used to investigate and
figure out the association between outcomes and experiences.

 

Participants.
In this cross-sectional study, data was collected from 273 randomly
selected healthy children. There were 193 girls and 144 boys aged in between 4
to 13 years. These participants were evaluated in an ambulatory pediatric
clinic in King Abdul-Aziz University Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, between
August 2016 and April 2017. A questionnaire was designed to collect information
on self-reported and direct measures of health and wellness. An interview was
held with children and their family, followed by height and weight
measurements. Phlebotomy team took blood samples for measurement of vitamin D,
thyroid and parathyroid hormones, and calcium. Any child with organic disease
(i.e. liver or kidney disease or diabetes mellitus), endocraniopathies,
secondary obesity or secondary short stature, short stature (familial, genetic,
malabsorption), supplementation with vitamin D or calcium, serious intercurrent
illness and data insufficiency were excluded from the study.

 

Ethical
Considerations. There are multiple ethical concerns that are
significantly required to be considered while undertaking a study or research.
Informed consent is one of the major ethical considerations while conducting
research. It is regarding the permission, willingness, and understanding of the
participants to take part in the study. It is quite essential that participants
taking part in the research must have information of the purpose, process,
potential benefits and risk related to study, as well as their alternative in
participation in the study. Written and verbal consent were obtained prior to
asking parents to fill in the questionnaire. Ethical approval for this study
was obtained from the Research Ethics Committee at King Abdul-Aziz University
Hospital (KAUH).

 

Weight
and Height Variables. SDS was calculated for weight and height.
Obesity was defined as weight SDS > 1.6, and short stature was defined as height
SDS

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