Last week we’ve seen the results of a new study that revealed that NSAIDs can increase the risk of venous thromboembolism and today we’ve got the results of a ground breaking study that will surely interest many parents. It appears that early childhood obesity is associated with infant antibiotic exposure.
Early Childhood Obesity – Finally Explained?
The obesity of some young children sometimes baffles their parents. They feed their children well, yet they still are obese. Now, the results of a new study published in the JAMA Pediatrics have revealed that the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics in children under the age of 2 could lead to an increased risk of obesity in early childhood.
Other factors that influence early childhood obesity include: the pre-pregnancy BMI of the mother, sleep duration, physical activity and nutritional intake, of course. Up until now, scientists only guessed that antibiotics may play a role in early childhood obesity, but now we’ve got the proof.
How do antibiotics make children fat? Well, when we are born, our intestines star being colonized by a plethora of bacteria, which can differently affect our growth. Some antibiotics can influence (by killing or modifying) the bacteria and microbes that grow in our stomach. The researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, PA wondered if infant antibiotic use affects early childhood obesity and the results were staggering.
The team of scientists followed more than 64,000 children between 0 to 24 months. The children were now 5 years old and 69% of them had received antibiotics; children who were prescribed the medicine on four or more occasions were more likely to be overweight or obese, but only broad-spectrum antibiotics created the risk of obesity. The results of the study were as follows: at 4 years, 15% of the children were obese and 33% overweight and at 3 years 14% were obese and 30% overweight.
So, the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics before the age of 24 months will increase the risk of early childhood obesity. What are your thoughts on this? Drop us a line in the comment section below.