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Obesity is becoming a growing concern in today’s population. Over the last thirty years, obesity rates have doubled in adults and quadrupled in adolescents. One of the more recent theories is that childhood obesity is influenced by early exposure to antibiotics. The purpose of this project is to discuss how antibiotics alter the human gut microbiota and how this affects nutrient consumption, which can lead to childhood obesity. There is a focus on the current research studies that address if, indeed, there is a link between childhood obesity and early antibiotic exposure. Through a review of several electronic databases and several peer reviewed research articles, my research has found that there is a link between early life antibiotic exposure and childhood obesity. Studies have shown that the younger the child is at the time of antibiotic exposure, the higher the risk of obesity. In addition, the more frequent the antibiotic exposure the higher the risk, and overall, males have a higher risk than females. These findings could have an impact on future clinical practice and probiotic use.


Physician Assistant Studies

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

First Advisor

Jay Metzger

Publication Date



Anti-Bacterial Agents -- adverse effects; Child, Preschool; Gastrointestinal Microbiome; Infant; Pediatric Obesity -- chemically induced; Risk Factors


Medicine and Health Sciences

Early Antibiotic Exposure and Childhood Obesity