Young children more likely to be obese if given antibiotics as infants

A study published in the International Journal of Obesity has looked at the link between antibiotics taken in the early stages of life, and obesity. The study, carried out in the UK with researchers from around the world, has found that exposure to antibiotics before six months old is associated with increase in body weight from 10 to 38 months. Exposure later in infancy, after six months old, is not consistently associated with increased body mass.

Over eleven thousand children born in the years 1991-2 were involved in the study, which measured intake of antibiotics in three different ages of infancy: less than 6 months old, 6-14 months old, and 15-23 months old. They also took measurements of body mass at 6 weeks, 10 months, 20 months, 38 months and 7 years.

The research team have suggested that one cause could be that the antibiotic drugs are affecting gut bacteria, which may lead to weight gain, but they stress that more research is needed and more studies to isolate the causes and effects.

Source: International Journal of Obesity

Source: Natural News

First published in August 2012

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