A new study reveals that children who consume antibiotics at an early age experience more weight gain.
The study shows that there are health problems associated with antibiotics. The bacteria affecting children’s bodies become resistant and immune to existing medicines. At the same time, the medicines alter their bodies in unhealthy ways. As reported by TIME, the study shows the effect of antibiotics on the body mass index (BMI). It highlights that an exposure of antibiotics causes children to gain weight over time.
Brian Schwartz, professor of environmental health sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, was the lead in the study. Electronic health records of 142,824 children who were between the ages of 3 and 18 years were studied, and the effects of antibiotic prescriptions on their BMI were carefully examined.
According to 6abc.com, it was found that if a child consumed antibiotics seven or more times by the age of 15, it raised their weight by an average of 3 pounds. “The more antibiotics you get, the stronger the effect,” Schwartz said. “And this effect seems to get larger as you get older.”
On the other hand, the reason why weight gain is linked to exposure of antibiotics hasn’t been clear for scientists. It has been hypothesized that antibiotics eliminate the healthy bacteria, which changes the way our bodies function – the way the food is broken down and absorbed in our bodies.
While the study does not dismiss that consuming antibiotics is critical in some life-threatening diseases, it throws light on the issue of parents pressuring pediatricians to prescribe antibiotics for bacteria and viruses that cannot be treated with drugs, according to Pulse Headlines. “We’ve got to totally dissuade parents from advocating for antibiotics […] As parents we want to feel like we’re doing something active for our kids, but I think we’re doing our kids damage. If your doctor says you don’t need them, don’t take them,” Schwartz said.