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Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - This Week -

CHILD­HOOD OBE­SITY: Tak­ing an­tibi­otics in in­fancy has been linked to a higher risk of obe­sity. Re­searchers said the drugs may al­ter gut bac­te­ria, mak­ing a child more sus­cep­ti­ble to weight gain. Antacids — drugs taken to curb ex­ces­sive stom­ach acid — taken in the first two years of life may also have an ef­fect, though much smaller, re­searchers from the US found. The study, pub­lished in the jour­nal Gut, found the ef­fect was more pro­nounced among young­sters who used the drugs for a pro­longed pe­riod. Al­ter­ations in gut bac­te­ria have been linked with obe­sity, and early ex­po­sure to med­i­ca­tions can al­ter the bac­te­ria. The re­searchers ex­am­ined data on more than 333,000 in­fants, fo­cus­ing on medicines pre­scribed to these young­sters dur­ing the first two years of their lives. Dur­ing the fol­low-up, 46,993 (14.1%) chil­dren be­came obese, of whom 9,628 had not been pre­scribed any an­tibi­otics or acid sup­pres­sants. Re­searchers also cal­cu­lated that young­sters were 26% more likely to be di­ag­nosed with child­hood obe­sity if they had been pre­scribed an an­tibi­otic. RISKY PREG­NAN­CIES: New moth­ers who be­come preg­nant less than a year af­ter giv­ing birth could be putting them­selves and their un­born child at in­creased risk, a study has sug­gested. Re­searchers who looked into nearly 150,000 births in Canada said those who waited 12 to 18 months to con­ceive af­ter hav­ing a baby re­duced the risk of short- and long-term dam­age to both the mother and child’s health. The study, by the Univer­sity of Bri­tish Columbia (UBC) and the Har­vard TH Chan School of Pub­lic Health, found a short gap be­tween preg­nan­cies af­fected moth­ers aged over 35, while risks to the in­fant were found for all women — par­tic­u­larly for those aged 20 to 34. VEGAN VALUE: Vegan di­ets may help the man­age­ment of di­a­betes, a re­view has sug­gested. Re­searchers found that pre­dom­i­nantly plant-based or vegan di­ets can help man­age blood su­gar lev­els and weight among di­a­betes pa­tients. The study, pub­lished in the jour­nal BMJ Open Di­a­betes Re­search and Care, found that such di­ets could also “sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove psy­cho­log­i­cal health and qual­ity of life”.

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