Caesarean section increases the risk of being overweight

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Twice increased risk of obesity through childbirth

Recent calculations show that more and more women are choosing a Caesarean section instead of a spontaneous birth despite the lack of medical indication. A section birth can, however, significantly increase the risk of numerous illnesses in the child, as studies in recent years have repeatedly shown. In addition to the associated increased risk of developing allergies and asthma, later obesity is also to be promoted, as scientists from the Harvard Medical School in Boston report on a study project. Certain bacteria should play a role in this, according to the researchers.

Double risk of obesity A caesarean section, also called medically section birth, is said to double the risk of obesity. After a three-year study phase, the children examined showed a significantly increased risk of being overweight. According to the scientists, this is due to the composition of the intestinal flora of the child, which is "sensitive disturbed" by a Caesarean section. While newborns are positively contaminated with the bacteria in a normal birth by overcoming the vaginal canal, this process does not happen with a cut birth. The contact with the germs is important to instruct the later intestinal flora, according to the researchers. In children who were born by Caesarean section, the scientists found a larger number of bacterial strains of the Firmicutes. These germs were also found in adults who suffer from excessive obesity.

During the course of the study, a US research team from Harvard Medical School examined the data of more than 1200 mothers and children. The subjects were followed from the time the child was born to the age of three. In the group of childbirth, it was found that, compared to spontaneous births, the children suffered significantly more frequently from being overweight.

Higher BMI and abdominal wrinkle thickness as a result 284 children (22.6 percent) were cesarean. Born At the age of 3, 15.7% of children were overweight by caesarean section compared to 7.5% of children who were vaginally born. “After clearing the data with the help of the BMI, birth weight and other covariates, there was a higher probability of being overweight at the age of three (OR 2.10, 95% CI 1.36 to 3.23) combined with a higher BMI Z-Score (0.20 units, 95% CI 0.07 to 0.33), as well as a higher sum of triceps and skin fold thicknesses (0.94 mm, 95% CI 0.36 to 1.51). “The proportion was in Comparison 15.7 to 7.5 percent. As a result, the risk of obesity was twice as high as that of children with vaginal delivery.

Other reasons could be the cause Critics criticize the informative value of the study. Often women who themselves are overweight have a cesarean section performed when their child is born. According to the doctors, the obesity preference is passed on to their children by obese parents. This is due to genetic dispositions and socialized lifestyles. In addition, mothers who give birth are less likely to breastfeed their babies. But the administration of breast milk in particular prevents subsequent overweight of the children.

Further studies necessary "Further studies are required to confirm our results and to explore the mechanisms of this association," said study leader Dr. Susanna Y. Huh from the Department of Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Boston Children's Hospital. (sb)

Also read about overweight:
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Obesity favors cancer
Being overweight increases the risk of cancer
Obesity: Not a quick success through diet
Dieting can also be unhealthy
Weight loss tricks more successful than diets
Diet: Diets for losing weight are often disadvantageous
Diet and prevention - opportunities and limits

Image: Dieter Schütz /

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Video: Study debunks notion that C-section would increase risk of obesity in offspring


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