Antibiotic use during pregnancy and childhood obesity

My team working on the Childhood Obesity Project in Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health recently published an article showing that a woman’s use of antibiotics during pregnancy is associated with heightened risk of obesity in her child at age 7.  In addition, children born by C-section also had a higher risk of obesity.  The underlying idea is that antibiotic use during pregnancy and birth by C-section alters the normal transmission of bacteria from the mother to the child and that disturbances in the development of the ecosystem of gut bacteria that live within each of us influences our risk of weight gain. A similar idea underlies another recent paper I co-authored that showed that having pets in the home may alter the link between delivery by C-section delivery childhood obesity risk.

Our work on antibiotic use was picked up by the NYTimes, and USAToday.

Share article: Staying Healthy while on Business Trips

My colleague Dr. Michael Friedman and I recently wrote an op-ed piece for on staying healthy while traveling for business.  A couple of years ago my student and I published a research article showing that among those who traveled for business, chronic disease health conditions correlated with the extent of travel, this was particularly true for obesity risk.  Analyses from the World Bank show the same pattern of results for their employees; medical claims for all conditions are higher among those who travel the most on World Bank business.

Now Michael and I are starting to think about concrete recommendations for how business travelers can avoid unhealthy lifestyle choices while they are on the road and how they can maintain their health while they are away from home. Our piece for was our first efforts to put some ideas out their.