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Public Health Nutr. 2020 Mar 24:1-7. doi: 10.1017/S1368980019004403. [Epub ahead of print]

Does vitamin D status predict weight gain or increase in waist circumference? Results from the longitudinal Health 2000/2011 Survey.

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Department of Public Health Solutions, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.



To investigate whether vitamin D status predicts weight gain or increase in waist circumference during the 11-year follow-up in general adult population.


A population-based longitudinal study.


The study was conducted using data from the nationally representative Health 2000/2011 Survey. The analyses were based on regression models adjusted for sociodemographic and lifestyle factors.


Weight, waist circumference and vitamin D status (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration analysed with radioimmunoassay) were measured from 2924 participants aged 30-64 years at baseline.


In men, low vitamin D status at baseline predicted ≥10 % increase in waist circumference during the follow-up when adjusted for age only (OR for sufficient v. deficient S-25(OH)D 0·41; 95 % CI 0·25, 0·67; P for trend <0·01), but the association with weight gain was only borderline significant. After adjustment for potential confounders, low vitamin D status remained a significant predictor of increase in waist circumference, but the association with weight gain was further attenuated. In women, vitamin D status at baseline did not predict weight gain or increase in waist circumference.


Our results suggest that vitamin D insufficiency may be a risk factor of abdominal obesity among men but not among women. In men, it may also increase the risk of weight gain. Further studies are required to confirm these findings and examine potential mechanisms behind them. There is also a possibility that vitamin D is a biomarker of healthy lifestyle rather than an independent risk factor for obesity.


General population; Longitudinal study; Obesity; Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D; Vitamin D


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