BACKGROUND: African-Americans have higher rates of obesity-associated chronic diseases. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) shows an inverse association with obesity status. We investigated whether vitamin D supplementation changes body mass index (BMI). SUBJECTS: In total, 328 overweight African-Americans were enrolled over three consecutive winter periods (2007-2010) into a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to receive cholecalciferol supplementation (0, 1000 international units (IU), 2000 IU or 4000 IU per day) for 3 months. Plasma concentrations of 25(OH)D and anthropometric measurements were done at baseline, 3 and 6 months. RESULTS: At 3 months, vitamin D supplementation in three dose groups (1000 IU, 2000 IU or 4000 IU per day) did not cause any significant changes in BMI as compared with placebo group 3-month change in BMI per 1000 IU per day estimate (SE): 0.01 (0.039); P = 0.78. CONCLUSIONS: In overweight African-Americans, short-term high-dose vitamin D supplementation did not alter BMI.