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Research reveals possible link between antibiotics and child obesity

Children who are given antibiotics before the age of two years old could be at risk of becoming obese before they are five years old, according to a recent study.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia research has demonstrated a connection between child obesity and antibiotics as an infant, although other factors may be responsible.

During an interview with Reuters via email, the lead author of the study, Dr L. Charles Bailey, said that the team of researchers were looking at the connection between obesity and antibiotics. He added:

“One of the more interesting hypotheses is that your body’s management of its weight involves interacting with the bacteria that live in your intestines, and affect the way you digest food.”

Bailey also mentioned that the antibiotics could alter children’s perception of taste or limit activity due to side effects.

The research involved looking at data from the health records of 64,580 children, which had been collated between 2001 and 2013. Studies were carried out on the times a child had been to the doctors before the age of five, and how many had been prescribed antibiotics before two years old. Those who had the medicine were more likely to become obese, with the likelihood increasing as the child got older.

Childhood obesity is an increasingly serious problem, and medical experts, parents and education officials are being called upon to help eradicate the problem. For instance, schools around the UK are encouraging students to eat a nutritious diet, which includes healthy tuckshop foods. Lincolnshire is just one of the counties taking part in the initiative.

Posted by Susan
October 8, 2014

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