Doctors are warning of a possible link drawn between Caesarian deliveries and an elevated risk of the child becoming obese in later life.
After studying the development of over 38,000 individuals, it became clear that those delivered by Caesarian section were a full 22% more likely to face weight problems and obesity.
As a result, experts are now pushing for pregnant women to be better educated about the potential risks Caesarian deliveries pose to both themselves and their offspring.
Critics have hit back at the warnings however, insisting that the evidence is inconclusive at best and that to suggest such links is both premature and misleading.
According to the results of the study, 60 out of every 100 adults delivered naturally would become obese later in life, while 65 of those delivered by Caesarian section would face weight problems. It was conclude that C-section delivery gave the individual a half-point higher BMI.
Speaking with the BBC in the UK, lead researcher Dr. Matthew Hyde from Imperial College London insisted that the difference is worrying.
“It is an increase of five in 100, which is a significant concern,” he said.
“It is only a half unit increase in BMI, but if you have that increase across a population you’ll see a large increase in weight and the well-publicized side-effects.”
His concern is that while parents are being informed and advised on the immediate benefits and dangers of Caesarian section deliveries, they are not being told the full story about the long-term.
Caesarian section has previously been linked to a variety of other health complaints including asthma, though this is the first time obesity has been suspected as a possible consequence.