Monday, August 31, 2009

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. When fat individuals get vitamin D (whether from skin, food, or supplements) much of it gets squirreled away into fat stores rather than in circulation. As a result, fat people are far more likely to be vitamin D deficient than smaller folks.

This makes the paper Vitamin D Status and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in the United States Adolescent Population (from September 2009's Pediatrics) particularly interesting. It concludes:

Low serum vitamin D in US adolescents is strongly associated with hypertension, hyperglycemia, and metabolic syndrome, independent of adiposity.

I wonder how much of the supposed metabolic risk of being fat is really a result of vitamin D deficiency? The evidence is just emerging, so nobody knows for sure yet. Still, fascinating stuff.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Small Victories

It's nice to occasionally have a HAES victory, even when it's small. I'm doing a rotation in a psychiatric ward this month, and in their examination room there was a huge BMI poster on the door. It was the same kind of poster you see everywhere with a graph to see how fat you are, and a table explaining that anything over a BMI of 25 means you need to lose weight.

BMI posters are incredibly irritating no matter where they are, but in a psychiatric ward it makes even less sense: People are already feeling pretty badly about themselves, let's berate them about their weight! And if they are in the psychiatric ward to treat an eating disorder, even better to remind them that they might be fat! So, I asked the individual in charge if it could be removed, and she took a look, agreed with me, and pulled the poster down.

One BMI poster less in the world is one of those small but very satisfying victories.