Newborn Care: NBreastfeeding and Childhood Obesity
A recent study showed that newborns and babies
who are breast fed and weaned onto solid food
later have a much lower risk of obesity at nine
years old. The government funded study from
Ireland involved almost 20,000 children and
The study showed that children exclusively
breast fed for three to six months were 38 per
cent less likely to be obese at nine years old
compared to exclusively formula fed children.
The newborns that were exclusively breast fed
for six months or longer were 51 percent less
likely to be obese at nine compared to the
formula fed group.
Prior research has found that breast fed
newborns and babies gain height and weight more
slowly then bottle fed babies. Rapid weight gain
in early life has links with childhood obesity
and adult cardiovascular disease.
The study was performed in Ireland, where almost
25% of nine year olds are overweight or obese.
Not surprisingly, Ireland has the lowest
breastfeeding rate in Europe.
The short term benefits of breastfeeding your
newborn is well documented and understood, but
this study highlights some long term benefits
for your children.
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