The infant gut microbiome: evidence for obesity risk and dietary intervention

Nutrients. 2015 Mar 31;7(4):2237-60. doi: 10.3390/nu7042237.


Increasing globally, particularly in children, obesity is a serious public health issue and risk factor for overweight and metabolic disease in later life. Both in experimental animal and human studies, advances in gene sequencing technologies have yielded intriguing possibilities for the role of the gut microbiome in later development of overweight status. Before translating study findings into practice, we must first reconcile inconsistencies between animal experimentation, and human adult and infant studies. Recent evidence for associations with gut microbiota and infant weight gain or child weight status, implicate Bacteroides and Lactobacillus species. Dietary manipulation with human milk and pre/probiotic formulations holds promise for preventing obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteroides
  • Diet*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Formula / chemistry
  • Lactobacillus
  • Milk, Human / chemistry
  • Overweight / microbiology
  • Overweight / prevention & control
  • Pediatric Obesity / microbiology*
  • Pediatric Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Prebiotics
  • Probiotics
  • Risk Factors


  • Prebiotics