Antibiotics and Obesity

Study may indicate link between antibiotics and childhood obesity


Parents often take their children to see their pediatrician for common ailments such as fever, ear infections, strep throat, etc. The most common medications that pediatricians prescribe for these illnesses are antibiotics. New research suggests that using antibiotics, especially broad-spectrum antibiotics, can increase children’s risk of obesity.

The study looked at children in their first 24 months being prescribed broad-spectrum antibiotics. They also looked at children who were prescribed four or more courses of antibiotics in that period. Approximately 65,000 records were taken from Pennsylvania and the surrounding region to be used in the study.

Results: Children prescribed antibiotics as described above were 11% more likely to be obese at some point between their 2nd and 5th years of age compared to children who had not taken antibiotics or were only prescribed narrow spectrum antibiotics that target specific disease causing bacteria.

Broad-spectrum: These types of antibiotics are used when doctors have not identified what bacterium is causing the infection. These antibiotics help with major systemic infections, or if the bacteria is resistant to other antibiotics. These types of antibiotics do not discriminate and kill off beneficial bacteria in the body as well as the bad. These antibiotics include: tetracycline, amoxocillin, moxifioxacin, ciprofloxacin, and streptomycin.

Meaning: The micro biome of the gut is crucial to a healthy life. The research suggests that early prescription of antibiotics can harm a baby’s beneficial bacteria and increase their risk of obesity later in life. It is the early times in a baby’s life during which they are creating a rich mixture of micro biota within their gut.

Remember: For some, obesity may have more to do with decisions made way before food preferences begin. Eating habits and lifestyle decisions play an important role in obesity later in life. The importance of a healthy gut is becoming more and more prevalent. Treat it right so it can take care of you throughout your lifetime!

Other Health Topics:

Better Digestion

Back to School Health Tips

Daily Nutrition with Supplements

Allergies and food

Liver Detox

Remember that this information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.


“antibiotics’ childhood obesity link” – LA Times