Children Receiving Antibiotics More Likely to be Obese Adults

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A new study done by John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the University of Pennsylvania and published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics shows that there is a connection between antibiotics taken early in life and the later development of serious health issues, including but not limited to obesity. Scientists believe that this might be due to the hampering of the development of the naturally occurring, healthy bacteria in the body called microbiome.

Very young children who had received four or more courses of antibiotics before they were two years old were 11 percent more likely to be obese by the end of the study. However, by the ages of three or four, these numbers climb rapidly to 30 and 33 percent.

Children who had received even one course of commonly prescribed “broad spectrum” antibiotics were 16 percent more likely to become obese than those who never took antibiotics.

In fact, this study showed that 70 percent of all American children had been given at least one course of antibiotics by the age of 2. The average was actually 2.3 courses of antibiotics by age 2. These antibiotics were prescribed for what are considered to be common childhood issues such as ear infections, colds, and bronchitis. Read how to treat strep throat without antibiotics.

This research paper is just the latest in an ever-growing field of research that is looking at the effects that our modern life has on the trillions of good bacterial that live in and on the body.

Although this latest research doesn’t prove without a doubt that antibiotics cause children to become obese, it’s in alignment with earlier studies that show antibiotic use leads to obesity.

Scientists have long been concerned that our overexposure to antibiotics, from our food, to our milk, and even our tap water, has the potential to kill some of the beneficial bacteria that might protect human beings from chronic diseases.


SEE ALSO: 7 Shocking Reasons You Should Ditch Antibiotics


There is quite a bit of evidence accumulating that our little invisible guests, an ecosystem within our bodies called microbiome, play a bigger role than we ever imagined at keeping us healthy.

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