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Infant Antibiotic Exposure Increases BMI

October 8, 2013

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “the percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2010.” This reality has encouraged research into the factors that are contributing to this trend.

In addition to poor eating habits and lack of exercise, antibiotics are apparently also contributing to increased BMI (body mass index) in children and infants.  Once recent study found that “exposure to antibiotics during the first 6 months of life is associated with consistent increases in body mass from 10 to 38 months.”

This trend appears to continue as “exposure from 6 to 14 months showed no association with body mass, while exposure from 15 to 23 months was significantly associated with increased BMI Z-score (standard deviation) at 7 years.”

This is just another reason to use antibiotics only when necessary, particularly for children. Allowing them to build their own natural immunity will protect them in later life and help keep them from starting life overweight.

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