Giving infants antibiotics elevates risk of childhood obesity

Administration of 3 or more courses of antibiotics before kids reach 2 years of age is associated with an elevated risk of childhood obesity as antibiotics are known to promote weight gain.

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: If researchers are to believed, giving kids antibiotics early increases their obesity risk. According to a new study, antibiotic use before age 2 can be a major contributor to the childhood obesity epidemic.

Administration of 3 or more courses of antibiotics before kids reach 2 years of age is associated with an elevated risk of childhood obesity as antibiotics are known to promote weight gain.

It does not mean that we have to stay away from antibiotics completely but it is advisable to think before giving it to infants.

The researchers performed a large population-representative cohort study in the United Kingdom to assess the association between antibiotic exposure before age 2 years and obesity at age 4 years.

Children with antibiotic exposure had a 1.2 percent absolute and 25 percent relative increase in the risk of early childhood obesity. Risk is strongest when considering repeat exposures to antibiotics, particularly with three or more courses.

"Our work supports the theory that antibiotics may progressively alter the composition and function of the gut microbiome, thereby predisposing children to obesity as is seen in livestock and animal models," said Researcher Frank Irving Scott.

(With ANI inputs)

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