Weight Gain Among Children Linked To Use of Antibiotics

NEW STUDY SUGGESTS THAT REPEATED ANTIBIOTIC USE COULD LEAD TO HIGHER BMI LONG TERM

By: Denise Devine@FrooseNutrition

A study conducted at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health gives us yet another reason to proceed with caution when it comes to the use of antibiotics.  The medical community has been warning for some time about the overuse of antibiotics because of the growing problem of resistance to them.  This recent study tracked 164,000 children in Pennsylvania.  “Antibiotics at any age contribute to weight gain.” said Dr. Brian S. Schwartz, a physician and epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins and lead author of the study.

weight gain children

Dr. Schwartz’s team examined medical records of children, aged 3 to 18, enrolled in Pennsylvania’s Geisinger Health System from 2001 to 2012.  With each additional treatment of antibiotic, the children’s weight gain became cumulative and progressive – diverging ever more widely from the nonantibiotic group. “This would suggest that this effect is not going to stop at age 18 and what’s happening is permanent,” said Dr. Schwartz.  The study concluded that healthy youngsters at age 15 who had been prescribed antibiotics seven or more times in their childhood weighed about 3 pounds more than those who didn’t take these medicines.  The research was published on October 21, 2015 in the International Journal of Obesity and reported int he Wall Street Journal on October 22, 2015.

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