The Tie Between Antibiotics And Childhood Obesity

Published on November 16th, 2016

Previously, researchers believed that the use of antibiotics in infancy was tied to childhood obesity. New studies suggest that the link may be with infections rather than antibiotics themselves.

Researchers tracked 260,556 infants from January 1997 through the end of March 2013 using records of a large health maintenance organization. The records included specific details on antibiotic use, diagnosis, and weight and height from birth through age 18. The study can be located in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.

Children who had no infections and no antibiotic use in the first year were compared with those who had untreated infections. They discovered that an infant with one untreated infection had a 15 percent increased risk for childhood obesity. Infants with three untreated infections were at a 40 percent risk for childhood obesity. There were, however, no difference in obesity risk between infants treated with antibiotics and those with similar infection left untreated. Therefore, infections, but not the use of antibiotics, were associated with childhood obesity.

Source: The New York Times

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