A new study conducted by a team of scientists at the universities of Colorado and Pennsylvania has revealed giving children antibiotics before they are two years old increases the risk they will become obese.
The team who performed a large cohort study in the UK to assess the link between antibiotic exposure before age two and obesity at age four, discovered children with antibiotic exposure had a 1.2 per cent absolute – and 25 per cent relative – increase in the risk of early childhood obesity.
Risk was strengthened by repeat exposure to antibiotics.
Study author of the research published in the journal Gastroenterology, Dr Frank Irving Scott, said:
‘Antibiotics have been used to promote weight gain in livestock for several decades, and our research confirms that antibiotics have the same effects on humans.See Also
Our results do not imply that antibiotics should not be used when necessary, but rather encourage both doctors and parents to think twice about antibiotic usage in infants in the absence of well-established indications.
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.’