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Antibiotics, Weight Gain in Children Could Be Linked, Study Finds

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By    |   Friday, 23 Oct 2015 01:20 PM

Antibiotics likely cause weight gain for children, a new study suggests.

According to The New York Times, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore found after analyzing the data of 164,000 young Americans that roughly 21 percent had seven or more antibiotic prescriptions between ages 3 and 18.

By age 15, that group weighed three pounds more, on average, than their counterparts who received fewer prescriptions. Three may not sound like a lot, but the researchers noted that the estimate was an average, and a conservative one at that.

"Not only did antibiotics contribute to weight gain at all ages, but the contribution of antibiotics to weight gain gets stronger as you get older," said Dr. Brian S. Schwartz, the first author of the study and a professor in the department of environmental health sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Many in the medical community noted that antibiotics have been shown to contribute weight gain among livestock, which has led to a reduction in dosage.

Scientists aren't sure how, exactly, antibiotics possibly contribute to weight gain in children.

Some have suggested that the drugs wipe out certain kinds of bacteria in the gut that affect food digestion and absorption.

The new study, published Wednesday in the International Journal of Obesity, echoes previous findings in other studies that have linked antibiotics taken during pregnancy to weight gain in the resulting children.

"We’ve got to totally dissuade parents from advocating for antibiotics," said Schwartz. "As parents we want to feel like we’re doing something active for our kids, but I think we’re doing our kids damage. If your doctor says you don’t need them, don’t take them."

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Antibiotics likely cause weight gain for children, a new study suggests.
antibiotics, weight, gain, children, linked
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2015-20-23
Friday, 23 Oct 2015 01:20 PM
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