That is because a new Northwestern Medicine study has found that infants born to obese women have lower vitamin D levels than babies born to leaner mothers.
In the research carried out across 61 pregnant women, it was revealed they all had the same vitamin D levels despite their size, suggesting vitamin D is passed less efficiently from obese mothers to their children.
First author of the study Dr Jami Josefson said: "Nearly all mothers in this study reported taking prenatal vitamins, which may be the reason why their own vitamin levels were sufficient, but the babies born to obese mothers had reduced levels of vitamin D.
"It's possible that vitamin D may get sequestered in excess fat and not transferred sufficiently from an obese pregnant woman to her baby."
Another noteworthy finding from the research was that babies born with high vitamin D levels also displayed higher body fat, which is in contrast to studies in adults and children that show an association between high levels of the nutrient and low body fat.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, measured vitamin D levels in blood collected from mothers at 36 to 38 weeks gestation and umbilical cord blood was collected from babies immediately after birth.
Although more research is needed to uncover the role vitamin D plays in the health of infants, Dr Josefson said: "Obese women may need larger amounts of vitamin D supplementation to provide their babies with sufficient levels of vitamin D while they are in the womb."
Health risks associated with a lack of vitamin D include severe asthma in children and the increased threat of death from cardiovascular disease, as well as cancer and cognitive impairment in older adults.