Determining the role of food enjoyment, responsiveness, antibiotic use and weight in infant gut microbiome diversity
The growing global epidemic of obesity has contributed to various health conditions costing healthcare systems billions of dollars. Previous research has investigated potential factors that could increase this risk in infants such as antibiotics, breastfeeding and mother’s health. However, factors such as infant food responsiveness and enjoyment have not been investigated. This is important to investigate as it could potentially identify new factors behind infant obesity, hopefully opening new areas of research, early diagnosis, and possibly treatment. The main objective is to investigate the effect of food enjoyment, food responsiveness, antibiotic use, and weight on the microbiomes of infants. Our study found that infant food responsiveness/enjoyment and antibiotic usage did not alter the infant microbiomes. The microbiomes of healthy and obese infants were not statistically significant however underweight infants had a statistically higher frequency of Bacteroidetes compared to overweight infants. Our findings establish the foundation to study the role of Bacteroidetes and other factors impacting infant obesity and how future studies can study impacts of the phylum in childhood.