By Amelia Santaniello

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Parents will do just about anything to keep their kids healthy, but now it appears that could include a decision made at birth. A new study may have found a link between C-sections and toddler obesity.

Doctors in Boston studied more than 1,200 births and found that 16 percent of the children delivered by C-section were obese, compared to 7.5 percent of the children born naturally.

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But some Minnesota mothers find the study unconvincing.

Visit an indoor park on a rainy day, like Thursday, and you’ll see plenty of toddlers and moms. And many were skeptical of the new study.

“Well, I had a C-section,” said Ronda Engelhardt, of Roseville, “and [my daughter] is not obese.”

Kristie Dustin, of Cologne, gave a similar anecdote, saying that all three of her C-section-born children are tall and skinny.

“I don’t know how there could be a link, at all” she said.

But other mothers weren’t so sure about their thoughts on the study. Rachel Zacharias, of Minnetonka, who gave birth to both her children naturally, was hesitant to give a statement on the study’s results.

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“I’m not a doctor,” she said.

What the researchers think is this: bacteria that a baby is exposed to in the birth canal might be a factor. Another factor might be the hormones released during birth.

And some doctors hope the study influences mothers’ decisions about elective C-sections.

Dr. Patricia Fontaine, of HealthPartners Research Foundation, said women should only get C-sections for the right reasons.

“[The study] should have women thinking twice and make sure that when caesarian is their choice, it’s for a good medical reason,” she said.

It’s estimated that between 4 and 16 percent of the C-sections in the U.S. are performed at the mother’s request.

Meanwhile, most moms at the park pointed out that there are other ways to keep kids healthy, too.

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“I can make the choice of I’m gonna have McDonald’s today with my kids or…we’re gonna eat fruit and veggies for lunch,” Zacharias said.

Amelia Santaniello