New study shows link between early antibiotic exposure and childhood obesity in Latinos


Credit: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, NY, February 15, 2017–Antibiotic exposure before age 6 months was associated with an increased risk for obesity at 2 years of age in a study of Latino infants in a low-income urban community. Harmful effects of antibiotics on the healthy gut microbiome during this sensitive developmental period could increase obesity risk, according to an article published in Childhood Obesity, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Childhood Obesity website until March 17, 2017.

In the article "Early Antibiotic Exposure and Risk of Childhood Obesity in Latinos," Annette Ville, Melvin Heyman, Rosalinda Medrano, and Janet Wojcicki, University of California San Francisco, evaluated mothers' reports of infant antibiotic exposure (type and frequency) at 6 months and 1 year of age and their descriptions of infant dietary intake. The researchers showed a statistically significant increased risk for early rapid weight gain and obesity at age 2 years among infants exposed to antibiotics during the first 6 months of life.

"While recent cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have shown a relationship between early antibiotic exposure and child obesity, a clever recent secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial detected no such relationship. Obviously more such research is needed," says Childhood Obesity Editor-in-Chief Tom Baranowski, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. "The work by Dr. Ville and colleagues expands this work to Latino families and detects quite strong odds ratios for obesity from early antibiotic use even after controlling for potential confounding variables. While this is obviously not the last word in this important area of research, it provides an important piece of the puzzle."


Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institutes on Health under Award Number DK080825. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

About the Journal

Childhood Obesity is a bimonthly peer-reviewed journal, published in print and online, and the journal of record for all aspects of communication on the broad spectrum of issues and strategies related to weight management and obesity prevention in children and adolescents. Led by Editor-in-Chief Tom Baranowski, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine, and Editor Elsie M. Taveras, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children & Harvard Medical School, the Journal provides authoritative coverage of new weight management initiatives, early intervention strategies, nutrition, clinical studies, comorbid conditions, health disparities and cultural sensitivity issues, community and public health measures, and more. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Childhood Obesity website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative medical and biomedical peer-reviewed journals, including Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, Population Health Management, Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics (DTT), and Journal of Women's Health. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, newsmagazines, and books is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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