From darkness to light

It’s a classic chicken-or-the-egg scenario. We’ve known for a while that obesity is linked to low vitamin D–and that boosting intake of this vital nutrient can help to cut excess body fat.

But does low D cause obesity… or does obesity cause low D? Researchers have never been sure. But a new study seems to offer some answers.

A group of Spanish scientists looked at data from 1,226 people, collected from three different health visits over the course of a decade. About 35 percent of these subjects were D deficient.

There was no link between excess weight and vitamin D levels at the start of this study period. But the numbers told a very different story over time.

In the next ten years, obesity prevalence rose from roughly 28 percent to 35 percent. And non-obese subjects who were vitamin D deficient after the first half of the study had a significant spike in obesity risk over the second half of the study.

This is by no means the final word on the subject. But it certainly looks as if getting more sunshine today could help you stay slim tomorrow.

So turn off your computer and get outside already!

Hypovitaminosis D and incidence of obesity: a prospective study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2013) 67, 680-682.