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Breastfeeding Halves Risk of Childhood Obesity

Wednesday, 29 October 2008 11:18

Breastfeeding prevents childhood obesity, say researchers in the British Medical Journal. Investigators tracked 13,345 youngsters in Bavaria whose parents completed questionnaires on their children's diet and lifestyle. Altogether, 4.5% of subjects who had never been breastfed were obese when they entered school (age 5 or 6). In contrast, 2.8% of breastfed children were obese. The duration of breastfeeding positively correlated with the degree of protection from obesity, according to the study.

"In industrialized countries promoting prolonged breastfeeding may help decrease the prevalence of obesity in childhood, the authors write. "Since obese children have a high risk of becoming obese adults, such preventive measures may eventually result in a reduction in the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases and other diseases related to obesity."

von Kries R, Koletzko B, Sauerwald T, von Mutius E, et. al.   Breast feeding and obesity: cross sectional study   Brit Med Jou 1999 (Jul 17);   319 (7203):   147-150