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Two unrelated studies. Both with surprising conclusions

  • Posted on Sep 24, 2018

For some time, we’ve seen a rise in obesity. There is a number of reasons that we all can admit to- too much fast food, not enough activity…but I have 2 additional causes that have really taken me by surprise.

A Canadian Medical Association journal studied multi-surface cleaners and found that households that use them weekly have babies that are overweight. The reason has to do with bacteria in the gut—children that were exposed to these types of cleaners had 2x higher levels of Lachnospiraccae bacteria found compared to households not using these cleaners. By the time the babies were 3 years old, their body mass was greater than children raised in households not using those disinfectants. Lacnospiraccea can be found in normal intestines but…higher levels are associated with increase obesity and insulin resistance. And researchers say that by age 3, our gut composition of bacteria stays with us the rest of our lives. More research is being done on this association but it’s a fascinating discovery! In Canada, the report indicated that 80% of households use these types of cleaners. Do you? Maybe its time to switch to an eco-friendly cleaner!

In another study, the Prevention of Overweight in Infancy, 802 women were followed with their babies to study methods to help curb rising obesity.
There were several different groups:

  1. Mothers were given information on breastfeeding, nutrition and keeping their children active.
  2. Mothers were counseled on sleep issues.
  3. Mothers were counseled on nutrition and sleep issues.
  4. No intervention.

Visits to the household were done from ages 6 weeks to 5 years. Guess what happened? Groups counseled on nutrition fared the worst! Sleep interventions starting the first months of life— decreased obesity. By age 2 the risk was cut in half and this was still apparent at age 5.

So the solution is clear… Sleep More and Clean Less!

Susan Badaracco, pediatrician and author of “The Oath” series.