Do C-Sections Make Your Children Fat?

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I ended up having both of my children via Cesarean section. I’m grateful for my doctor and the hospital staff and what not, but I do wish I had been able to give birth more naturally. (And I don’t mean by this that I would have liked to avoid all the fantastic drugs that I was given.)

The politics surrounding vaginal birth vs. Cesarean put Washington, D.C., little petty squabbles on Capitol Hill to shame.

But Reuters is reporting that young adults who were born via C-section were more likely to be obese than those born vaginally. Now, the study is pretty weak, which we’ll get to but looked at Brazilians in their young twenties. Some 15 percent of those delivered via surgery were obese compared to 10 percent of those born naturally. Interestingly, even in the 1970s, the C-section rate was absurdly high in Brazil. Currently 44 percent of births there are C-section births.

While the study did look at birth weight, income and mother’s education levels, it didn’t look at mothers’ weight, which is one of the biggest risk factors for needing a C-section. Obese women are more likely to have obese children.

Either way, they found was that children born via C-section were linked to a 58 percent increase in adulthood obesity.

Babies taken from the womb via surgery are not exposed to some of the beneficial bacteria that live in the birth canal. That might influence their metabolism, researchers say.