By Amy Norton
WEDNESDAY, January 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Children who receive multiple antibiotic prescriptions early in life may be more susceptible to obesity, two new studies show.
In one study, researchers found that four-year-olds who received more than nine antibiotic prescriptions in their lifetime were twice as likely to become obese compared to those who were not exposed to antibiotics.
The second study found a similar model. However, the antibiotic obesity link disappears when researchers compare siblings – suggesting that a number of other factors in the family may explain the finding instead.
Currently, experts say it is not clear whether antibiotic use will directly affect a child's weight.
But studies emphasize the long-term need for more rational use of antibiotics.
Dr Cameron Grant, a senior researcher in one of the studies, said: "There are childhood illnesses that require antibiotics." "However, there are a number of which antibiotics are not indicated, but are sometimes prescribed."
The common cold is an example. Colds caused by viruses and antibiotics – killing bacteria – are useless to them.
But why does antibiotics affect the weight of children?
This concept is not too far-fetched, according to Meghan Azad, an assistant professor at the University of Manitoba, Canada.
She wrote an editorial accompanying …