C-section babies tend to become heavier adults
Study leaders at the Imperial Collage London, looked at combined data from 15 separate studies of nearly 40,000 people to reach their conclusion. The findings are published in the journal PLOS ONE.
In what is believed to be the largest study of its kind, researchers say they don’t believe C-sections cause people to become overweight as adults but say there may be other factors involved.
“There are plausible mechanisms by which caesarean delivery might influence later body weight,” said researcher Dr. Matthew Hyde, in a statement. “The types of healthy bacteria in the gut differ in babies born by caesarean and vaginal delivery, which can have broad effects on health. Also, the compression of the baby during vaginal birth appears to influence which genes are switched on, and this could have a long-term effect on metabolism.
Researchers were also quick to point out that for many women, C-section may be their only choice for childbirth.
“There are good reasons why C-section may be the best option for many mothers and their babies, and C-sections can on occasion be life-saving,” said study author, Neena Modi in a news release. “However, we need to understand the long-term outcomes in order to provide the best advice to women who are considering caesarean delivery.”
C-sections aren’t the only thing that might be linked to children eventually becoming overweight.
A recent study found that too much weight gain during pregnancy may have a negative body impact on the baby later in life.
Researchers studied the body mass index (BMI) of 42,133 mothers at birth along with the BMI data of their children until age 12, totaling approximately 91,045 children. They then compared the BMIs of each mother between her pregnancies to see if the mother’s weight gain changed and if that influenced her child’s weight.
They discovered variations in pregnancy weight gain accounted for a half unit difference in child BMI at an average of 12 years.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.