Your Household Cleaning Products May Be Linked to Childhood Obesity

Baby's exposure to disinfectants and cleaners could cause weight gain later on.
ByStephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
Sep 2018
dad with toddler daughter washing dishes
Photo: Getty Images

Common disinfectants and multi-surface cleaners could contribute to weight gain in kids by altering the gut bacteria of infants, says a new study by the Canadian Medical Journal.

Parents provided poop samples for each infant tested in the study and answered questions about their home. Samples from 757 infants were profiled and analyzed, along with body mass index (BMI) data at older ages and their parent’s use of disinfectant products.

The research claims 3- and 4-month-old infants exposed to these household cleaners weekly had higher levels of Lachnospiraceae, which is a big word for a type of gut bacteria. As a result, these kids were more likely to have a higher BMI and be either overweight or obese by the time they turned 3 years old.

The study certainly warrants concern, but keep in mind it doesn’t take other factors into consideration, such as kids’ food consumption or daily diet. And though the research makes a strong link between the two, there isn’t a clear cause and effect relationship between cleaning products and weight gain.

So while nothing has been definitively proven, if you are constantly cleaning your home and concerned about the effects on baby, the study suggests trying eco-friendly products instead.

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