CU Anschutz Study Links Antibiotics To Childhood Obesity

March 28, 2016

The use of antibiotics to treat illnesses in young children increases the risk of childhood obesity, according to a new study.

Researchers found that giving three or more courses of antibiotics to children before they turn two is linked with an increased risk of early childhood obesity.

“We’re not arguing at all that antibiotics should not be used at all, in particular when there’s a concern for a bacterial origin of why your kid is sick," said Dr. Frank Scott, at CU Anschutz, who led the study. "However, we do feel that they should be used judiciously.”

Scott says antibiotics may change the microbiome of the gut, and predispose children to obesity as happens when antibiotics are given to livestock.

The study is published in the journal Gastroenterology.