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Antibiotics May Increase Infants’ Risk for Obesity


Researchers are calling the first six months of life a window of special vulnerability to exposure. But we’re not talking about exposure to germs, but to something that should protect their little bodies—antibiotics. 

New study results from the International Journal of Obesity have found that babies who had been treated with antibiotics between birth and five months of age were 22 percent more likely to be overweight by age three, reported

PLUS: Antibiotic Alert

Children examined in the study that were treated with medicine between the time they were six months and 14 months old did not have significantly higher body mass at age 3 than children who had not received any.  It might come down to the way antibiotics are administered; before six months antibiotics are given intravenously.

Study researcher Dr. Leonardo Trasande, of New York University School of Medicine, also gave this possible explanation: "Microbes in our intestines may play critical roles in how we absorb calories, and exposure to antibiotics, especially early in life, may kill off healthy bacteria that…would otherwise keep us lean."

PLUS: The Antibiotic Lowdown

Was your child given antibiotics before six months? Leave a comment.