Gut Microbiome Of Infants Predicts Obesity In Children

Gut Microbiome Of Infants Predicts Obesity In Children

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Eric Bakker, naturopath, thanks for coming back. We’re going to talk about obesity in children. It’s a big problem. I remember looking in magazines, National Geographic and stuff like that when I was a kid, and you didn’t really see big people that much. You saw them occasionally, but most people were of normal size.

But when you look now, you see mainly big people and the occasional smaller person of normal size. And I just feel this obesity crisis is getting out of hand in so many countries. And finally in New Zealand, they’re talking about a sugar tax now on soda drinks, which should have been done years and years ago.

But what they’re finding, a study was conducted in Oslo, this is in Norway, I think this was last year involving 200 children. They did this study. So the cohort or the group they selected were Norwegian kids. The study started in 2002. It was on the earliest cohorts to examine the link with the obesity and children as they got older.

So what they found, by the time the kids were 12, 20% of the 200 were overweight or obese. And they used 16 RNA gene sequencing to look at the gut microbiota over about five or six time points over this period. What is it, 17 years? A long period. So we’re talking, you know, the Guttmacher biota of these kids or these children was checked at day one, day four, day 10.

I think it was one month and then one year. And it’s ongoing. And they found major differences. As the children got older, the children who are now obese, they found the shift started occurring when they were quite young, around one to two years of age and microbiota changed. And this may be linked with ancestry or genes. It could also be linked, no doubt, to the kind of food that these children are consuming.

So what they’re saying now is it’s very important that children need to eat the right kind of food when they’re young to support a good microbiota, because this is what they’re going to really grow up with. It’s going to take them forward.

I was always told when I was studying that children that are, we use the f-word, the fat word, we’re young, we’re 40, 50% more likely to have diabetes by the time they get to their 40s or 50s, than a non-large child. So today, in our country, like in yours, no doubt we have a diabetes epidemic among people, but also among children, which we should not be seeing. We should not be seeing type 2 diabetes in children at all. It’s a crime in my opinion. But we’re seeing it.

My wife and I have friends with larger children and we see what the diet is like. And often it’s cookies, it’s ice cream, it’s lots of bread, it’s the wrong kind of foods. But because they’re friends, you don’t really want to say much, but you can see how these children could end up being diabetics by the time they’re 40 or 50.

So, there you have it. There’s definitely now studies that validate and support now the hypotheses. It’s not hypotheses anymore, but the microbiota is linked with obesity.

And if we can have children eating the right kind of food, particularly before their two years of age, we’ve got a good chance of preventing a lot of diseases of modern civilization by the time they get to adults. So please, if you’re watching this, feed your children normal, healthy, natural foods. You probably know what I mean.

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