Babies born by Caesarean section face an increased risk of obesity.
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Forget about eating habits- researchers are now suggesting that people are at risk of developing weight problems before they’ve even started eating solid food, says Time Magazine. Not only that, but certain factors appear to make babies born by Caesarean section even more susceptible to obesity.
A study published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood says that researchers found babies born by Caesarean section were more than twice as likely to be obese by age 3 as those born vaginally.
The relationship between C-section babies and obesity rates remained even after scientists looked at factors such as the weight of the mom and the birth-weight of the babies. C-section babies born to moms of normal BMI are still more probe to obesity. The babies were measured from birth to 3-years-old.
About 23% of the babies in the study were born by c-section. Of these children, 15.7% were obese by age 3, compared with 7.5% of children born vaginally.
A bug in the system
The theory behind the weight disparity suggests that children born via C-section have increased quantities of a particular kind of bacteria in their digestive tracts, a trend found in obese adults, too. It’s possible that since these babies aren’t exposed to mom’s vaginal microbes, they have a lot more of the Firmicutes bacteria.
A further suggestion was that antibiotics used during Caesarean delivery also influence the population of infants’ gut bugs, which can in turn impact babies’ weight.
The results of the study seem to match previous ones which have, amongst other findings, found that C-section babies are more prone to asthma than babies born vaginally.
Would you change your birth plan if choosing to have a baby via Caesarean section could compromise your child’s development later on?
By: Scott Dunlop