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Study links super-clean homes to obese children

Study links super-clean homes to obese children
Posted at 10:16 AM, Sep 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-20 06:23:34-04

WACO, TX (KXXV) - A surprising new health study has parents talking because it blames over-cleanliness for a part of the national obesity epidemic.

Researchers originally set out to track the correlation between chemicals and things like asthma and allergies but they found something very different.

Celia Garcia of Waco knows, thatwhen her children go outside to play they’re going to get dirty.

After all, what kid can’t resist a mud puddle.

But when the time comes to go home, it’s time for a thorough clean-up because Celia likes a tidy house.

"You feel less stressed when you come home to a clean house, to a clean place," Garcia said.

But a new study from researchers in Canada suggests a super-clean house creates a risk factor for obese children.

The study looked at more than 700 children from birth to the age of 3.

What researchers found surprised them.

The study boils down to this: the more we disinfect our homes and expose our kids to chemicals, the more their gut bacteria suffer. Bacteria that years later can affect their metabolism.

The more disinfectants used in the home, the higher the body mass index in children.

Doctors say good gut bacteria can affect a child’s weight.

"I think that makes a lot of sense, because the human body is its own environment, ‘the biome’ everything needs to be in balance, so it wouldn’t be surprising at all that we need those beneficial bacteria to maintain an ideal body weight," said Dr. Priya Srinivasan of Baylor Scott & White.

But she doesn’t think the study should change anybody’s clean habits just yet.

"This is one study and it’s bringing up some interesting facts, but I think we need to wait for more studies before we start changing our whole lifestyle and what we do," Srinivasan said.

Celia Garcia agrees. She’ll keep on cleaning.

"I don’t believe the study because I think the healthier your house is, the healthier your kids are," Garcia said.

Adults have stable bacteria colonies, but children, especially in the earliest years, have fragile biomes. Ones that can suffer life-changing damage.

Researchers say using so-called eco-friendly cleaning products, things without antibacterial, showed no harmful effects.

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