Interview: Gut bacteria leads to child obesity, says Mexican researcher

Mexican scientists have found evidence that bacteroidetes, firmicutes and other gut bacteria can lead to obesity in children.  “Through a study, we were able to verify that there is an imbalance of bacteria, that is to say that these microbes are abundant in the digestive tract of a child suffering from obesity, compared to minors that are at their ideal weight,” said Jaime Garcia Mena, a scientist at Mexico’s Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute (CINVESTAV). The findings are part of a study, called the “Genetics of obesity in infancy and adolescence,” that was undertaken to help understand Mexico’s growing problem of obese youngsters.  Garcia, who works in CINVESTAV’s department of genetics and molecular biology, said nutrition plays an important part in regulating gut bacteria and determining weight, with children who consume more meats, simple sugars and starches developing a digestive environment that favors obesity. (Published on XinhuaNet.)