A recent study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, found a possible link between the over-prescription of antibiotics and the rising numbers of children struggling with weight problems and suffering with obesity.
Based on the results of the study, children who took antibiotics gained weight faster than those who didn’t. The researchers also found that the weight gained during childhood lasted well into adulthood.
The ugly twin of antibiotic resistance
There’s no doubt that when antibiotics were invented, they served a valuable purpose in infection and disease control. Unfortunately, the mainstream went completely overboard and began to prescribe these drugs to treat almost anything? even severe seasonal flu infections, which should be treated with antiviral drugs and not antibiotics.
As you are well-aware, the over-prescription of antibiotics has led to the global threat of antibiotic resistant superbugs.
Now it turns out that the overuse of antibiotics has an additional caveat: obesity.
Johns Hopkins researchers analysed the health records of 164,000 children between the ages of 3 and 18. They specifically looked at the number of antibiotic prescriptions given to the children, body weight and height.
The results showed that by the time the children reached the age of 15, those who took antibiotics were noticeably heavier than those who didn’t.
In addition, the older the child, the more the antibiotics contributed to weight gain.
These results really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. That’s because antibiotics don’t just kill the bad bacteria causing disease. They also wipe out healthy bacteria in your gut. So you can imagine what antibiotic use from an early age could do to the gut health of a child.
In fact, it can permanently change the way food is broken down and absorbed in your body and can cause you to build-up fat.
So, the next time your doctor wants to prescribe an antibiotic to your child or grandchild, make sure it is really necessary.
Limiting our children’s exposure to antibiotics is important to helping them maintain good gut health and a healthy weight.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
Frequent antibiotics may make our kids fatter, nytimes.com