Tags: cesarean | obesity | risk

C-sections Double Obesity Risk

Monday, 28 May 2012 12:05 PM

Cesarean section delivery may double the risk of obesity in babies by the age of 3 years, according to a surprising new study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.
Past studies have linked C-section delivery to an increased risk of childhood asthma and allergies, but the new research – conducted at Children’s Hospital in Boston – is the first to tie obesity to the procedure.
The findings are based on 1,255 children born in the Boston area between 1999 and 2002. Investigators started tracking the mothers before 22 weeks of pregnancy, and their babies were measured and weighed at birth, at 6 months, and then at the age of 3, when their body fat was also assessed.
Out of the 1,255 deliveries, 1 in 4 was by cesarean section; the remainder were vaginal deliveries. Researchers found babies delivered by C-section had greater birth weight than those delivered vaginally and, by the time the child was 3 years old, they were about twice as likely to be obese (16 percent vs. 7.5 percent.
The researchers speculated differences in the gut bacteria in the babies’ digestive tracts at birth may be a factor. Gut bacteria can influence the development of obesity by stimulating cells to boost insulin resistance, inflammation, and fat deposits, they said. Infants born vaginally are exposed to their mother’s vaginal microbes, while those born by C-section are not. It’s also possible that the antibiotics used during Cesarean delivery also influence gut bacteria.

© HealthDay

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Cesarean section delivery may double the risk of obesity in babies by the age of 3 years.
Monday, 28 May 2012 12:05 PM
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