Page 5 - GUT Summit
P. 5

Blaser posed the question:
Why are children becoming more obese?
He went on to present the figures on the percentage of obese children and posed the question - What’s causing this change? He proposed that antibiotics play a role, and stated that out of the top eight prescriptions in children in the US, five of these were for antibiotics [Chai, 2012]. One study looked at the variance in antibiotics prescribed to children in their first year of
life, across Europe, and concluded that as the frequency of illness episodes did not differ between countries, other factors, such as physicians’ attitudes, parental pressure or other socio-economic determinants, are most likely to play a role in antibiotic prescribing habits. [Stam, 2012]. Blaser stated that on average children receive the highest rate of antibiotics [Hicks, 2013] and provided evidence to show that on average, children in the US receive ten courses of antibiotics by the time they are ten years old. He then compared the levels of obesity across the US to the level of antibiotic usage and highlighted the similarity in prevalence.
Obesity trends amoung U.S children and adolescents*
20 18 16 14 12 10 08 06 04 02 0
6-11y 12-19y
NHANES I 1971-1974
NHANES II 1976-1980
NHANES III 1988-1994
NHANES 2003-2006
* Sex and age-specific BMI > 95th percentile based on CDC growth charts Adapted from: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1971-2006
Adult obesity and antibiotic prescriptions in children, 2011
Adapted from: Hicks, 2015
Age ≤ 2 years
Observational data
Percent (%)

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