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Bacteria in Infants’ First Stool May Indicate their Risk of Obesity

07/08/2020

Meconium—the earliest stool of an infant—is composed of materials ingested during the time the infant spends in the uterus. A new study published in Pediatric Obesity found that the types of normal bacteria found in the meconium may predict an infant’s likelihood of later developing obesity.

In the study of 212 newborns, children who became overweight at 3 years of age differed in their meconium bacterial makeup from those with normal weight, having a higher proportion of bacteria in the Bacteroidetes phylum (29% versus 15%).

The concept of fetal microbiome is controversial and the colonization process after birth is better understood than the possible fetal colonization; however, there are many prenatal factors affecting the microbial composition of the baby's first stool, such as the mother's use of antibiotics during pregnancy and biodiversity of the home environment during pregnancy,” said corresponding author Katja Korpela, MD, of the University of Oulu, in Finland. “It is very interesting that the microbiome formed before birth is possibly linked to a child's subsequent weight status.”

The authors noted that the results emphasize the importance of investigating maternal and prenatal factors when considering the pathogenesis of pediatric obesity.

Additional Information

Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ijpo.12680

About Journal 

Pediatric Obesity is a peer-reviewed, monthly journal devoted to research into obesity during childhood and adolescence. The topic is currently at the centre of intense interest in the scientific community, and is of increasing concern to health policy-makers and the public at large.

About Wiley

Wiley drives the world forward with research and education. Through publishing, platforms and services, we help students, researchers, universities, and corporations to achieve their goals in an ever-changing world. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to all of our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

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