Antibiotics and obesity have been linked in a new study, with research suggesting that giving antibiotics to babies may increase their chances of a battle with weight later in life.
The antibiotics and obesity data is only the latest in findings in recent years that paint the issue of obesity as one a bit more complex than the “eat less, move more” mantra to which we have become accustomed to, even as obesity skyrockets in America.
It seems the antibiotics and obesity link is just one of a set of circumstances that may affect an individual’s weight issues as they grow older, but scientists say that the evidence is becoming more vast regarding the role of biological factors, not self control, in whether a person struggles with excess weight.
Co-author of the study Leonardo Trasande of the New York University School of Medicine explains:
“We typically consider obesity an epidemic grounded in unhealthy diet and exercise, yet increasingly studies suggest it’s more complicated… Microbes in our intestines may play critical roles in how we absorb calories, and exposure to antibiotics, especially early in life, may kill off healthy bacteria that influence how we absorb nutrients into our bodies, and would otherwise keep us lean.”
Researchers conducting the study examined more than 11,000 children in Britain between 1991 and 1992. What they discovered is that those who were exposed to antibiotic treatment as babies were 22 percent more likely to be overweight by the age of 38 months.
The findings seemed to apply solely to children given antibiotics before the age of five months; after that, the antibiotics and obesity link appeared to become negligible.