You’re a weight watcher. You’re not sure when it all began, but it feels like you’ve been worrying about your weight, FOREVER.
It’s in your genes.
You don’t want your kids to experience weight problems.
But, with childhood obesity rates at an all time high, what can you do, to protect your little one from this scourge ?
Your anti-obesity plan
You’ve got one. It might not be a formal document, but you will make sure, your kids EAT RIGHT and get plenty of exercise. You’ll lead by example………… your kids WILL love vegetables and shun sweets, chocolates and chips.
If only it was that simple.
Medicines versus food
What if childhood obesity has nothing to do with food ? What if it begins in the doctor’s rooms ?
A research team from the University of Philadelphia, asked this very question……
To find the answer, they mined the health records of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia community, between 2001 and 2013. This is a big community – 64 580 children were included in the final analysis, which focused on antibiotic prescriptions before the age of 2 years.
And then correlated this with weight.
Antibiotics dished out like sweets
The team found, antibiotics were prescribed as if they were sweets.
69 % of the children in this study had been prescribed antibiotics before the age of 24 months. The prescription was not limited to a single course, the average exposure was 2.3 courses per child.
Remember, a course of antibiotics, kills the good guys and the bad guys.
And, whose in the gut matters…..
Busy little critters
The gut bacteria are busy , they’re involved in
- Digesting food
- Harvesting energy
- Detoxifying potentially dangerous chemicals and vanquishing other nasties
- Producing essential nutrients and other goodies, that help you think straight etc.
- Training up your body’s defence force
- They may even be controlling your blood pressure
So did the antibiotic exposure matter in these kids ?
The obesity numbers
Armed with the antibiotic exposure before the age of 2 data, the team tracked the weights of the children thereafter.
There were weight problems.
- At the age of 2, 23 % of the kids, were considered to be overweight/obese.
- By the age of 3, the number had risen to 30 %
- By the age of 4, 33 % were considered to be overweight/obese
One third of the kids – this IS an epidemic.
Are the antibiotics to blame ?
Looks like it.
The more antibiotics, the child had been exposed to, and the earlier the exposure happened, the greater the odds, the child was obese. Exposure to broad spectrum antibiotics i.e. antibiotics designed to kill lots of different kinds of bacteria, were the most damaging.
Time for a plan B ?
The childhood obesity epidemic is SERIOUS.
And eating less and exercising more, is not going to fix it, if the route of the problem is the systematic extermination of our gut flora.
Antibiotics ARE NOT SWEETS.
To protect your little one from obesity and a host of other health problems, you need to protect their gut microflora. That means, you only want to give your child a course of antibiotics, when it is absolutely necessary. And ensure that the antibiotic that is given, is designed to kill, the bug causing the problem, NOT EVERYTHING.
Antibiotics are ineffective against viral infections, the majority of childhood infections, including ear infections and the sniffles, are caused by viruses, not bacteria.
A spoonful of puree makes the baby grow round
The aim of the game, to feed your toothless wonder, mushed up food on a spoon. Spooning it in – ensures your little one grows up BIG, real BIG.
Many kids view going to sleep as some kind of punishment – whining and wailing to stay up a little longer. Do you give in to “keep the peace” ?
And muscle flops ……. are on the road to a lifetime of weight troubles, because they hate to move.
Interested in learning more about the chemistry behind those extra fat layers ?
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