While a diet that’s high in calories and fat is a major cause of obesity, there are other reasons involved too, especially when the obesity strikes in childhood.
According to a new study, gut bacteria and its interaction with immune cells and metabolic organs, that include fat tissue have been identified as a key role in childhood obesity. This study was published in the journal Obesity Reviews.
Apart from gut health, a mother’s diet, health, physical activity, use of antibiotics also can be responsible for a child getting obese.
"The medical community used to think that obesity was a result of consuming too many calories. However, a series of studies over the past decade has confirmed that the microbes living in our gut are not only associated with obesity but also are one of the causes," said lead author Hariom Yadav, Ph.D., assistant professor of molecular medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist.
Obesity in children is increasing at a steady rate of 2.3% each year, which has been deemed as unacceptably high and said to be an indicator of prospects for the next generation's health, the study stated.
Researchers, in this study, reviewed existing studies (animal and human) on how the interaction between gut microbiome and immune cells can be passed from mother to baby as early as gestation and can contribute to childhood obesity.
"This compilation of current research should be very useful for doctors, nutritionists and dietitians to discuss with their patients because so many of these factors can be changed if people have enough good information," Yadav said.
This better understanding of the role of the gut microbiome and obesity in both mothers and their children can help scientists design more successful preventive and therapeutic strategies to check the rise of obesity in children, the researcher opined.