A recent Brazilian study shows that 15 percent of adults who were born via c-section are obese, while only 10 percent of those born vaginally are obese. There are of course also numerous other factors that could have fueled these numbers, such as family income and education levels, or heavier birth rates. However, even after looking at these factors, the team that conducted the study still found a 58 percent increase in the risk of adult obesity in children who were born via c-section. This could be because infants who are born vaginally are exposed to bacteria in the birth canal which helps them develop their metabolisms; children born via c-sections are not exposed to these bacteria, and therefore, their metabolisms are slower to develop.
Luckily for those of us who were born via c-section, Dr. Helena Goldani and her colleagues said that these findings do not necessarily prove cause-and-effect. There could even be other explanations for this new trend that we have not thought of yet.
“I think all they have shown is an association,” said Dr. Xavier Pi-Sunyer of the New York Obesity Research Center at St. Luke’s Hospital. “They have not shown any mechanism or cause-and-effect.” Also, Dr. Pi-Sunyer faulted the study because it did not not include information on the mothers’ weights. Obese women are more likely to need c-sections than thinner women, and obese women are more likely to have heavier children, due to lifestyle choices. He claims that by not including this information, the study has a “huge gap in the data.”
Pi-Sunyer concludes his comments about the study by saying that “this is an interesting finding, but it raises more questions than it answers, and it requires a lot more research.”
I have to agree with him.
Via Yahoo News