Breast­feed­ing can re­duce risk of later obe­sity

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FAMILY TIES -

A NEW study sug­gests that obese mothers who breast­feed their ba­bies could re­duce their chil­dren’s risk of be­com­ing obese later in life.

Ba­bies born to obese women have a sig­nif­i­cantly higher birth weight on av­er­age than those born to healthy, nor­mal-weight women, which ac­cord­ing to the re­searchers put them at higher risk from birth of be­ing obese dur­ing child­hood and adult life.

To look at the pos­si­ble pro­tec­tive ef­fect of breast milk on weight, the depart­ment of pae­di­atrics at the Uni­ver­sity of Granada, Spain, looked at the growth of ba­bies born to 175 obese and nor­mal-weight women dur­ing the first two years of life.

Par­tic­i­pants were di­vided into three groups ac­cord­ing to the food the ba­bies re­ceived at three months of age – only breast milk, only in­fant for­mula milk, or a mix of both.

The team found that ba­bies born to obese mothers and who were ex­clu­sively breast­fed had a lower weight at six months of age when com­pared to those fed with in­fant for­mula milk, which is rec­om­mended for ba­bies that can’t be breast­fed.

In ad­di­tion, the weight for th­ese breast­fed ba­bies cor­re­sponded to what it should be for their age and size in terms of body mass in­dex (BMI), and, in fact, was even lower than that of breast­fed ba­bies born to nor­mal-weight mothers and ba­bies fed with in­fant for­mula milk.

The team also found that al­though the dif­fer­ences in weight were sig­nif­i­cant at six months of age, they were not seen at two years of age, which re­searchers be­lieve con­firms an im­prove­ment and a ‘change of lane’ in the growth of chil­dren fed with breast milk and whose mothers are obese.

The re­sults also sug­gest a pro­tec­tive mech­a­nism in breast milk, which ap­pears to guard against the po­ten­tial neg­a­tive ef­fect of the mother’s obe­sity, and pos­si­bly re­cover and im­prove the health of a baby that has ex­pe­ri­enced ma­ter­nal metabolic al­ter­ations in the womb. – AFP-Re­laxnews

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