Cesarean section leads to obesity in children

5 Jun 2013, 15:44
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Cesarean section leads to obesity in children

A new study lead by Ph.D., M.D. Jan Blustein from the School of Medicine at the University of New York and published in the International Journal of Obesity shows that the majority of observed children who were born through cesarean section are heavier than those their counterparts who were delivered normally.


The study evaluated data on 10,219 children born between 1991 and 1992, 9% of whom where born with the help of cesarean section procedure. To accumulate the necessary data researchers recorded children's weight right after birth, then at six weeks after birth, and then at 11 years of age.


Right after birth, children born via c-section were found to be about 0.125 pounds lighter, on average, than those who were born via vaginal canal.


But only six weeks after the birth the tendency reversed, kids born via cesarean section were found to be heavier than those born vaginally, and this trend reportedly persisted as the children grew older.


The data recorded from 11-year-old kids is astonishing as it shows unquestionable trend. 83 percent of children born via cesarean section weighed more than their peers who were born naturally. The study may offer one of the clues of rising obesity rates in the United Kingdom.


Unfortunately, obesity is not the only potential consequence of C-section births.


Another recent study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology in San Antonio, Texas, found that C-section babies are five times more likely than natural babies to develop allergies by age two.


The study also found that those born via cesarean generally do not have balanced gut bacteria colonies because they did not go through their mothers' vaginal canals, a process thorough which the necessary "friendly" bacteria are imparted.


This exactly bacteria later on in life is essential in healthy metabolism and weight regulation.


"Generally, the early colonization and establishment of the intestine with bacteria seems very important," adds Teresa Ajslev from the Institute of Preventive Medicine in Frederiksberg, Denmark, as quoted by Reuters. "Yet, much more work is needed before we can explain the mechanisms of the early bacterial colonization".


"An association between Cesarean birth and increased risk of childhood obesity (as well as both asthma and allergies) would provide an important rationale to avoid non-medically indicated cesarean section," wrote the authors of another study that was published in journal Thorax in 2008 and showed that C-section children are at higher risk of developing asthma.

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