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

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    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.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora