C-sections do not cause obesity, study concludes

C-sections do not cause obesity, study concludes

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Some studies have suggested that babies born via c-section miss out on beneficial bacteria that they'd otherwise be exposed to during a vaginal birth, making them more prone to obesity.

Not true, researchers at Sweden's Karolinska Institutet concluded, after reviewing the birth records of more than 97,000 boys born in the country between 1982 and 1987, and calculating their body mass index (BMI) at age 18, when the boys joined the Swedish military.

At first glance, the scientists did find that the boys born via c-section were more likely to be obese at age 18 than those born vaginally. But when the researchers took into account other factors, such as the weight of the boys' moms prior to getting pregnant, the correlation between c-section births and obesity disappeared.

In other words, moms who were overweight when they got pregnant were more likely to have overweight kids. Being overweight increases women's chances of needing a c-section, which may be why having a c-section birth correlates with higher rates of childhood obesity.

The study isn't airtight. It only looked at boys, so it's not clear if these findings apply to girls born by c-section. Also, the boys were born more than 30 years ago, when both c-sections and obesity were less common, so the percentage who met the criteria in the study was low.

But overall, this study was large, and the authors rigorously accounted for several factors that can influence obesity. The takeaway? Focusing on reaching and maintaining a healthy weight both before and during your pregnancy may be more likely to protect your child from obesity than worrying about having a c-section.

If you're concerned about your child's weight, here are some tips for helping an overweight child, how to tackle feeding problems tied to excess weight, and information on the average weight and growth for babies, toddlers, and older kids.

our site News & Analysis is an assessment of recent news designed to cut through the hype and get you what you need to know.

Watch the video: Pregnancy Fitness and Food: You Dont Need to Eat for Two. Kaiser Permanente (May 2022).

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