Does breastfeeding reduce risk of obesity?

Does breastfeeding help to reduce the risk of childhood overweight and obesity?

Based on the available evidence, breastfeeding appears to provide some level of protection against childhood overweight and obesity. Together with other targeted nutrition interventions, breastfeeding can therefore be an important component of strategies to reduce the risk of overweight and obesity in children.

Are breastfed babies more likely to be overweight?

There is absolutely NO evidence that a large breastfed baby will become a large child or adult. In fact, there is good research to indicate that breastfed babies are less likely to be obese children or adults than babies who were formula-fed.

How does obesity affect breast milk?

Women who are overweight and obese have lowered prolactin responses to suckling. Women who are obese are at risk for prolonged labors, excessive labor stress, and cesarean birth, all of which delay lactogenesis II. Lactation has a small but significant role in preventing future obesity in the mother and child.

Why does breastfeeding prevent obesity?

Breastfed babies seem to be better able to regulate their food intake and thus are at lower risk for obesity. Because breastfeeding provides food for your baby that is easy to digest and nutritious, you do not need to feed your baby solid foods until he or she is 6 months old.

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Does breastfeeding reduce the risk of diabetes?

Breastfeeding for longer than 2 months lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes by almost one half, the researchers calculated. Breastfeeding beyond 5 months lowered the risk by more than one half. Notably, differences in weight loss, which affects type 2 diabetes risk, didn’t account for these risk differences.

What is linked to a reduced likelihood of obesity in childhood?

It found that any breastfeeding up to 9 months was linked to a reduced risk of childhood obesity at four years. Other factors influencing child obesity were child sex, maternal education, maternal body mass index, and maternal smoking.

Can a baby be too fat?

Excess fat and calories can still be a concern, though. For example, being too heavy can delay crawling and walking — essential parts of a baby’s physical and mental development. While a large baby may not become an overweight child, a child who is obese often remains obese as an adult.

Children's blog