With everybody panicked about obesity, it might look like the awareness campaign has spiraled out of control for a bit. Basically, at least once a week there’s some study that talks about childhood obesity risks and all sort of procedures and activities that put our children at risk. Now, a study shows that babies born by Cesarean section face a higher risk of obesity.
If over the years, births by Cesarean section have become what most women prefer, a study comes to show that these moms are putting their babies at risk of childhood obesity. A research published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood presents data that shows babies born by Cesarean are twice more likely to develop childhood obesity than babies delivered vaginally.
The data was gathered between 1991 and 2002 from 1,255 children delivered in Boston. Mothers agreed to deliver prenatal and gestational weight data, height and weight measurements at their babies’ births and until age 3.
When the researchers put their data together, out of the babies born by C-section, 15.7 percent were obese by the time they were three years old. During 1991 and 2002, in Boston, 23 percent of deliveries were by C-section. Vaginally born children were also seen to develop childhood obesity during that time, but the number is half than that of the C-section babies.
Given the United States’ problem with obesity, the study shows there’s quite a significant risk. Study lead author, Dr. Susanna Huh, explained seeing that “one in 3 babies in the U.S. is now delivered by cesarean”, “mothers need to be aware that our study suggests that children delivered by cesarean section may be at higher risk of obesity”.
Dr. Susanna Huh also added that at the moment their study hasn’t identified the actual reason why C-sections are linked to a higher risk of obesity, but she emphasizes that mothers should really avoid the procedure if they don’t have a medical reason.
Mitchell Maiman, New York ob-gyn, told WebMD that it’s not the mothers’ fault for the high percentage of C-sections today. “The fact is, physicians are the ones demanding the C-sections for their own convenience and because of the medical-legal climate”.