Research Shows Link Between Microbiome And Childhood Obesity

Research Shows Link Between Microbiome And Childhood Obesity

3:54pm Nov 06, 2019
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC. Image courtesy: Wake Forest Baptist Health

Researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Health are mapping the correlation between childhood obesity and gut bacteria. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity affects 1 in 5 children and adolescents in the U.S. 

Dr. Hariom Yadav with Wake Forest Baptist says a human’s microbiome is a factor. That’s the vast community of microorganisms including bacteria that begins forming at birth. 

“The moment we are born [the] microbiome starts colonizing, [and the] immune system starts developing," says Yadav. "And they both are having [a] high impact, very important role in regulating the metabolic function.”

Things that can affect a microbiome include how a baby is born, what a baby is fed as an infant, and exposure to antibiotics. Yadav says studies show those born by cesarean section and/or fed with formula as opposed to breast milk can have higher body weight and higher chances of becoming obese.

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