A new study has found that babies who are born via c-section are more likely to be obese than those who were born naturally.
According to researchers from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in the US, C-section babies are 15 per cent more likely to suffer from obesity later in life.
Australia currently has one of the highest rates of caesarean births in the world. A decade ago, c-sections accounted for around 20 per cent of births. Nowadays the figure is more than 32 per cent. That’s over a third of all births.
Using data collected from over 16 years, researchers looked at the statistics of 22,000 young adults. The findings were published in Jama Paediatrics, and show that young people who were born by c-section were 64 per cent more likely to be obese than siblings who came in to the world via a normal vaginal birth.
Research author and Associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology, Jorge Chavarro, told News.com.au: “Caesarean deliveries are without a doubt a necessary and lifesaving procedure in many cases.”
"But caesarean also have some known risks to the mother and the newborn. Our findings show that risk of obesity in the offspring could be another factor to consider."
"I think that our findings - particularly those that show a dramatic difference in obesity risk between those born via caesarean and their siblings born through vaginal delivery - provide very compelling evidence that the association between caesarean birth and childhood obesity is real."
He continued to say: "In the case of siblings, many of the factors that could potentially be playing a role in obesity risk, including genetics, would be largely the same for each sibling - except for the type of delivery."