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Overweight people may be at a greater risk of insufficient calcium and vitamin D supply

Published on

07 March 2014

A new US study shows that low-income, overweight, and/or obese population groups may have a significantly increased risk of calcium and vitamin D insufficiency, despite the important role these nutrients play in bone health during all stages of the lifecycle.

This study used data from the 2001 – 2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and involved 227,528 participants who provided dietary intake data and personal information regarding gender, age, race, weight, household income level, dietary supplement use and vegetarian status (1). The results showed that low-income, overweight, and/or obese populations showed a greater risk of having an insuf- ficient calcium and vitamin D supply. In addition, children aged four to eight years were more likely to obtain recommended dairy intakes compared with older children and adults of all ages. Food intakes of calcium and vitamin D decreased with age in adults. Adults who used supplemental calcium and vitamin D showed a lower prevalence of insufficiency. Calcium and vitamin D intakes from food and dietary supplements were not related to vegetarian status. Excessive intakes of calcium and vitamin D above the tolerable upper intake level (UL) were low among all studied populations and oversupply was not widely present across these analyses.

The researchers commented that these results carry an important practical application as they may be used to help focus public health and awareness campaigns and messaging related to the significance of these two nutrients in maintaining optimal bone health.


  1. Taylor C. et al. Calcium and Vitamin D Disparities Are Related to Gender, Age, Race, Household Income Level, and Weight Classification but Not Vegetarian Status in the United States: Analysis of the NHANES 2001–2008 Data Set. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2013; 32(5):321.

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