C-Section Increases Obesity in Children in Adult Life: Study
By Vishakha Sonawane | Feb 27, 2014 09:28 AM EST
Babies delivered through cesarean-section have more chances of being overweight or obese in adulthood, a latest study shows.
The study researchers found that those born via C-section had 26 percent more chances of being obese as adults compared to those born through vaginal delivery. For the study the researchers examined data from 15 studies with over 38,000 participants.
The researchers also warned women opting for C-section of the consequences for their children. Previous researches have shown that C-section deliveries increase the risk of asthma and type-1 diabetes in childhood.
The current findings showed that the average body mass index of adults born by C-section was around half a unit more than those born by vaginal delivery. However, the researchers said it was not quite clear how C-section impacted the body weight.
"There are good reasons why C-section may be the best option for many mothers and their babies, and C-sections can on occasion be life-saving. However, we need to understand the long-term outcomes in order to provide the best advice to women who are considering cesarean delivery," senior author Professor Neena Modi from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London, said in a news release.
"This study shows that babies born by C-section are more likely to be overweight or obese later in life. We now need to determine whether this is the result of the C-section, or if other reasons explain the association," Modi said.
"There are plausible mechanisms by which cesarean delivery might influence later body weight. The types of healthy bacteria in the gut differ in babies born by cesarean and vaginal delivery, which can have broad effects on health. Also, the compression of the baby during vaginal birth appears to influence which genes are switched on, and this could have a long-term effect on metabolism," added co-researcher Dr Matthew Hyde.
C-section deliveries have gone up all over the world. The study collected data from over 10 countries and all showed an increase in the number of cesarean deliveries. England saw an almost two fold increase since 1990. Around half the mothers in Brazil opt for this procedure and it is 60 percent in China.