Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. Childhood obesity is a condition where excess body fat negatively affects a child’s health or wellbeing. Overweight and obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood and childhood obesity can lead to life-threatening conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep problems, cancer, and other disorders. Some of the other disorders would include liver disease, early puberty or menarche, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, skin infections, and asthma and other respiratory problems.
Overweight and obesity, as well as their related diseases, are largely preventable. Out of the various causes behind obesity, babies born by caesarean section (c-section) are at an increased risk of becoming obese than those delivered naturally. The c-section children have a higher BMI (body mass index is a measure of fat to total body tissue), as well as a higher skin fold thickness. Mothers who deliver by c-section on average weigh more than those delivering vaginally, and the birth weight for gestational age of their babies also tend to be higher. The c-section mothers also have a tendency to breastfeed their babies for a shorter period.
Around 16% of children delivered via c-section are obese by the age of three compared with only 7.5% of those born vaginally. Setting aside the birth weight and after taking into account the maternal weight and several other influential factors, a caesarean section delivery is associated with a doubling in the odds of obesity by the time the child is three years old. Certainly a figure for healthcare professional to consider, especially those that advocate a quick easy surgery for the doctor and midwife, over an all night vigil, as the mother lets her body do what it was naturally designed to do.
Why exactly the c-section causes the changes remains unexplained, but somewhere possible behavioral issues with children born by c-section can answer such questions. Perhaps it is simply the abrupt entry into the world, or a simpler issue that could be adjusted for mothers and babies that simply cannot avoid experts to put forward the idea that is supported by scientific data that the problem is associated with bacterial flora the child gains from its mother. The Firmicutes bacteria have been associated with obesity, although it’s not known exactly why. This is obviously something that could be treated in a newborn. Thus, mothers who choose a surgical delivery option should be made aware of the potential health risks to her baby.