News / USA

Study: C-Section Babies Face High Obesity Risk

Maria Iozia holds newborn son Dio Anthony Flore, Queens, New York, 2007 (file photo).
Maria Iozia holds newborn son Dio Anthony Flore, Queens, New York, 2007 (file photo).
Jessica Berman
WASHINGTON - A new study has found that babies born by Caesarean section are twice as likely to become obese by the age of three as newborns delivered vaginally, and authors of the report say women who plan to deliver their babies via C-section because it is more convenient might want to reconsider their options.

The study, conducted by researchers at Children's Hospital in Boston, monitored 1,250 women from before their 22nd week of pregnancy until they delivered their babies at hospitals in Massachusetts between 1999 and 2002.

Twenty-five percent of the babies were delivered by Caesarean section and the rest were born vaginally.

Height and weight of each baby was taken at three months of age and again at three years of age. Researchers found that by the third year, 16 percent of the C-section toddlers were obese, compared to 7.5 percent of those born vaginally. Differences in the children's birth weights did not appear to be a factor.

Researchers also found that three-year-olds born by C-section also had a higher skinfold thickness, a measurement of body fat. Although motherhood obesity is a known risk factor for overweight children, researchers said this finding was consistent regardless of the mother's weight.

According to Dr. Amos Grunebaum, director of obstetrics and chief of labor and delivery at the New York Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, it is important to tell mothers who do not need a C-section for medical reasons of the obesity findings and other risks associated with surgical delivery.
 
"We already know that if you do Caesarean-section, especially when there's no medical indication, there's an increased risk of babies being admitted to the intensive care unit for breathing issues," he said, adding that there are a number of legitimate reasons for a C-section, including babies who are positioned buttocks or feet first in the birth canal, and babies in distress or whose births are not progressing normally.

The Massachusetts researchers have speculated that obesity may be influenced by bacteria in a newborn's gut, which could be different in C-section babies than in vaginally-delivered babies. The microbes, they said, could affect how calories and nutrients are absorbed from food, promoting insulin resistance, inflammation and fat.

Another possibility, researchers said, is that hormones released during labor may influence the development of obesity, but that both possibilities need further study.

Grunebaum said he is likely to inform patients seeking an elective C-section of the additional risk of obesity.

"Whenever we do any procedure, we balance risks with benefits," he said. "And if risks outweigh benefits -- and in this case there are some risks such as obesity versus very little benefits -- then women should be aware of this."

A study on Caesarean section and the increased risk of childhood obesity is published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.

You May Like

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous from: usa
May 28, 2012 8:50 AM
Thirty percent of deliveries are c-section? Is this because the doctors want MORE MONEY?

by: Sue_Donym from: Seattle
May 25, 2012 8:54 PM
Or maybe babies delivered by C-Section are more likely to have obese mothers?

by: Autumn from: VA
May 25, 2012 3:53 PM
The problem may well not be the C-section at all, but rather the mentality of those parents who opt for surgery as the easy option when it isn't necessary. Some women, who very probably don't realize the harm in it, may just be scheduling Cs for convenience the same way people often give their kids junk food for convenience.
The grin and bear it childbirth ladies (especially the natural delivery ones) seem to me more likely to weather the odd tantrum rather than give in to buying the latest ChocoFruity Diabetes Pops for little Bobby.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs