The quality of the diet of obese children is poor. Eating habits may alter micronutrient status in obese patients. In this study, we determined the serum levels of selenium, zinc, vanadium, molybdenum, iron, copper, beryllium, boron, chromium, manganese, cobalt, silver, barium, aluminum, nickel, cadmium, mercury, and lead in obese Turkish children. Thirty-four obese and 33 healthy control subjects were enrolled in the study. Serum vanadium and cobalt levels of obese children were significantly lower than those of the control group (0.244 +/- 0.0179 vs. 0.261 +/- 0.012 mu g/l, p < 0.001, and 0.14 +/- 0.13 vs. 0.24 +/- 0.15 mu g/l, p = 0.011, respectively). There was no significant difference between groups regarding the other serum trace element levels. In conclusion, there may be alterations in the serum levels of trace elements in obese children and these alterations may have a role in the pathogenesis of obesity.