Stop giving antibiotics to children, it can make them fat, claims study

Are your kids consuming too much antibiotics? A new study has warned that too much antibiotic intake can make your child gain weight at a faster rate when compared to the children who have never taken the drug. Taking antibiotics on a regular basis has a long term effect in adulthood, says study authors.

For the study, researchers examined electronic medical records of more than 163,000 children aged between 3 and 18 years. Researchers took into account numbers of antibiotic prescription and compared it with body weight and height. It was noted that one in five children were prescribed antibiotics at least seven times in the childhood. After analysing the data, study authors found that children who were prescribed antibiotics more than seven times were at least 3 pounds heavier when compared to those never ate the drug at the age of 15 years.

Lead study author Brian Schwartz, a physician and epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said that antibiotics have been related with the weight gain previously and several other studies have found that the drug increases weight at any age. The study has confirmed previous findings while adding that the effect of antibiotics gets stronger as we age. He further added that farmers too, give antibiotics to animals just to make them gain weight which increases their profit. It seems these drugs have the same effect on humans too.

Researchers still don’t know the exact reason behind the frequent use of antibiotics and weight gain. While explaining Schwartz said that antibiotics kill bacteria present in the gut meanwhile it also alters the process of breaking down of food which results in more food being stored by the body and thus more fat reserves. Researchers previously feared that excessive use of antibiotics can make bacteria resistant towards the drug, thus regular perception was avoided. The present study has given another reason to refrain antibiotics.

Moreover, antibiotics or antibacterials are a type of antimicrobial used in the treatment and prevention of bacterial infection. They may either kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria.

The study was published in the International Journal of Obesity

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