Giving antibiotics to children under 2 years may trigger obesity
Children who are given antibiotics before the age of two years are likely to become obese when they grow up. This is the result of a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.
“These results give reason for parents to think again when they have to give antibiotics to children and what type of antibiotic is needed,” said lead researcher Dr. Charles Bailey of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Bailey and colleagues looked at data from 65,000 children in 2001 to 2013, researchers followed the children at birth to five years old. They recorded the height and weight of children, as well as to control when they are given antibiotics. Researchers know that 69 percent of children were given antibiotics when under two years old.
Children who are given antibiotics to four times or more before the age of two years have obesity risks that is likely higher than the 11 percent who are not given antibiotics. It applies to specific types of antibiotics. Meanwhile, children who are given the more common types of antibiotics have 16 percent higher risk of obesity.
Researchers have also calculated other factors such as steroid use, asthma, and others. The results of this study should be taken into consideration for parents before administering drugs, particularly antibiotics, to their children. They should ask the doctor, when they really have to give antibiotics to children who are very young.