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.


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