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Volume 38, No. 2

Antibiotics Linked to Obesity

Antibiotics before age 2 increases risk for childhood obesity, study suggests

While early antibiotic use has been associated with a number of rare long-term health consequences, new research links antibiotics to one of the most important and growing public health problems worldwide -- obesity. A study1 published online in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association, found that administration of three or more courses of antibiotics before children reach an age of 2 years is associated with an increased risk of early childhood obesity.

"Antibiotics have been used to promote weight gain in livestock for several decades, and our research confirms that antibiotics have the same effect in humans," said Frank Irving Scott, MD, MSCE, assistant professor of medicine at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, and adjunct scholar, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. "Our results do not imply that antibiotics should not be used when necessary, but rather encourage both physicians and parents to think twice about antibiotic usage in infants in the absence of well-established indications." Read the full article.


Originally published March 22, 2016 in ScienceDaily. 

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