Study finds breastfeeding doesn't prevent childhood obesity; contradicts other research

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Breastfeeding doesn't help reduce obesity rates in children, a new study reveals.

This information is contrary to claims made by the World Health Organization and other medical journals.

Researchers studied 14,000 healthy babies in Belarus, concluding that despite how long a woman breastfed — or whether or not she combined that with bottle feeding — it did not make a difference in obesity rates for children by the time they reached age 11.

"Breastfeeding has many advantages, but population strategies to increase the duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding are unlikely to curb the obesity epidemic," the researchers wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

New findings contradict other research

A recently published study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that obesity risk was lowered by 15 to 25 percent in breast-fed children.

Based on this research, some hospitals suggested changing guidelines about promoting breastfeeding to pregnant mothers.

And while the new study doesn't suggest there is harm in breastfeeding, it simply asserts that the practice may have no real benefit on solving the childhood obesity problem.

Advantages of breastfeeding justify continued promotion efforts

"Although breastfeeding is unlikely to stem the current obesity epidemic, its other advantages are amply sufficient to justify continued public health efforts to promote, protect, and support it," the researchers wrote.

Breastfeeding has been linked to beneficial effects on gastrointestinal infections, atopic eczema and cognitive function, according to the study.

Source: New Jersey Times

 
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