A baby’s gut microbiota may indicate weight problems in the years to come, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s virtual Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle & Cardiometabolic Health Conference. The researchers examined microbiota extracted from stool samples of more than 200 babies at age 6 weeks and 1 year and then measured their BMI up to age 5. A higher abundance of Klebsiella and Citrobacter in the stool of 6-weekold babies was associated with higher BMIs as they got older. The same was true for Prevotella found in the stool of 1-year-olds. The presenting study author said an infant’s microbiota could be affected by environmental factors, diet, and antibiotics. Figuring out how to minimize microbiota linked to obesity could help battle weight gain later in life. Another possible factor is breastfeeding, according to the study author, adding that bacteria levels among infants who were breastfed were less associated with higher BMIs but that more results are needed to prove a link. “We need more studies to look at whether breastfeeding actually modifies the microbiota,” said a physician not involved in the study. “We understand the mix of bacteria in the infant’s gut is associated with obesity several years later. There’s something in their diet and their environment that’s affecting that, but we don’t know the mechanisms.”