C-Section Birth Delivery Puts Babies On The Path To Adulthood Obesity

By Samantha Finch, Parent Herald September 07, 06:13 am

Obesity in adulthood may be linked to birth delivery. A new study found that babies born via Caesarean section are more likely to become obese when they reach adulthood than their counterparts who were delivered through vaginal birth.

The research, which was conducted by experts from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that babies born via C-section are 30 percent more likely to be obese when they reach the age of nine to 28. The results of the study were published on Wednesday in JAMA Pediatrics. They were based on health records collected by the Growing Up Today Study, or GUTS, from thousands of people over the years.

Previous studies found the same connection between C-section birth and obesity. Two recent reports proved that C-section birth increases babies' obesity risk by 22 percent, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The obesity risk of babies born via C-section plummeted to 15 percent when the research team from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health factored in mothers' body mass index before pregnancy. That 15 percent risk, however, is still considered notable by researchers.

There's a 23 percent obesity risk for preteens born via C-section aged between nine and 12. For people aged 13 to 18 delivered by C-section, there's a 16 percent obesity risk and a 10 percent increased risk for adults aged between 19 and 28.

More than one-third or 36.5 percent of adults in the United States have obesity problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Obese people are vulnerable to heart diseases, stroke, certain types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Audrey Gaskins, a Harvard University epidemiologist and research co-author, said the weight differences of siblings in one family were taken into account as well. In different families, children born via C-section display a 64 percent increased risk of obesity than their siblings delivered via vaginal birth.

Gaskins noted that siblings "have the same mother and home environment so the genetics, the feeding environment, are all controlled for," The Guardian reported. This means that another factor plays a larger part and in this case, it was how these babies were born.

Dr. Catherine Spong of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland said that the safest birth delivery method is still an uncomplicated vaginal birth, according to CNN. Women who delivered their babies via C-section are more likely to have health complications such as heart attacks and blood clots, while babies delivered via C-section are more likely to have persistent pulmonary hypertension or high blood pressure, Medical Daily revealed.

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