Caesarean sections increase risk of obesity in children
A large study, originating from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has found that children delivered using caesarean section were 15% more likely to become obese compared to children who were delivered vaginally. Babies born by C-section were also 64% more likely to be obese than their vaginally birthed siblings. Whilst C-sections often are a necessary and lifesaving procedure, there are many known risks to the mother and the baby. Jorge Chavarro, senior author, suggests that increased risk of obesity should be added to that list.
Each year almost a third of all deliveries in the USA are C-sections, and whilst other studies have suggested a link to obesity, this is the largest and most detailed research into the area. 22,000 participants were followed over 16 years and factors such as the mother’s pre-pregnancy BMI, smoking and diabetes status, age at delivery and location were also taken into account. Dr Chavarro explained that this study provided clear evidence that the association between C-section births and childhood obesity was real.