C-Section Births Tied to Obesity
Researchers suspect link relates to bacteria exposure
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2012 10:01 AM CDT
A new study shows that babies born by C-section are twice as likely as those born vaginally to be obese by 3 years old.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Caesarian sections are on the rise in the United States, but a new study out yesterday indicates that the surgical birth method may have an unexpected consequence. It found that babies born by C-section are twice as likely to be obese by age three, reports the Washington Post. Researchers reviewing the records of 1,255 mothers and babies discovered that 7.5% of those born vaginally were obese at three, vs. 15.7% of those born by C-section.

The Post notes that while both the mothers and babies in the C-section group were heavier, the researchers controlled for factors like the mother's weight, baby's size, and how long the baby was breastfed. The researchers' theory: The surgical procedure could affect how babies acquire important digestive bacteria from their mothers, which could in turn alter the way their bodies digest food. Babies born by C-section rose to 32% in 2007, up from 20.7% in 1996. (Another possible obesity factor? Fungicide.)

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
bambam420
May 25, 2012 9:33 AM CDT
It's just parents feeding their kids too damn much!!Or...Some kids just get bored and want to eat all day...and some parents let them...so they get fat!!Simple as that!I know...because I use to be one of them!Until my mom said enough is enough...and made me get more active(grounded me outside..NO REALLY!Would lock me out!)...and guess what...it worked!!No longer fat after that!haha...I know..different...but effective!
dawnarun
May 24, 2012 6:29 PM CDT
Both my brother and I were born by c-section. My mother was a petite little Asian woman, my father built like a line backer. We weren't ever overweight as kids, and don't have much trouble maintaining our weight as adults as long as we stay active. So... *shrug* I wouldn't be surprised if parents were overfeeding their babies, much in the way that people overfeed their pets.
Kirstin
May 24, 2012 3:56 PM CDT
To me there seems to be too many factors which cause obesity to list Cesarian sections as THE driver. I was born by Cesarian 27 years ago after my mother had gone through almost 24 hours of labor. I have always been slender as is my sister (26 and under 100 lbs - just very petite). I think it is more likely Cesarian is a causation rather than a correlation - i.e. babies are getting bigger due to the weight and diet of their mothers, as well as the rise in gestational diabetes, they are too big to be born so they are delivered by surgery. Just to say that because obesity has been rising at the same time Cesarian rates are rising therefore Cesarians must be responsible for obesity seems like a leap. And yes, I know they said they state that they accounted for these factors but I am not sure how you could remove data like that without skewing the test.