Breastfeeding may not reduce obesity risk
March 12th, 2013
04:00 PM ET

Breastfeeding may not reduce obesity risk

We've heard a lot about the benefits of breastfeeding, and the idea that it reduces the risk of a child becoming overweight or obese has been around for decades.

But a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association contradicts that idea. It suggests that though breastfeeding has many benefits, reducing the likelihood that a child becomes obese or overweight may not be one of them. The evidence to support this conclusion is strong as the study was based on a large randomized controlled trial.


This study was conducted in Belarus at maternity hospitals and the clinics affiliated with them.

Researchers initially looked at information about more than 17,000 pairs of mothers and infants who were breastfeeding. Of them, about 14,000 participated in the follow-up period between January 2008 and December 2010; the children by that time were around 11 years old.

Only healthy, singleton babies who were born weighing at least 2,500 grams (5.5 pounds) were included in the research. Their mothers had initiated breastfeeding and didn't have any conditions that could impact their ability to breastfeed.


This was a randomized controlled study, meaning it is unlikely that other factors besides the breastfeeding intervention influenced the outcomes, said Richard M. Martin, lead study author based at the University of Bristol's School of Social and Community Medicine.

Sixteen of the health facilities were randomly chosen to receive a breastfeeding intervention based on the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, which the World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund developed. This initiative helps mothers to start breastfeeding soon after birth and demonstrates breastfeeding to new mothers.

The other 15 clinics did not receive the intervention. Instead, they proceeded with their standard practices, which included early introduction of non-breast liquids and promoting scheduled breastfeeding rather than breastfeeding on demand. "The mothers weren’t encouraged to breastfeed early on," Martin said.


Those who received the intervention were more likely to breastfeed longer, compared to those who were not exposed to the breastfeeding initiative.  At 3 months, babies whose mothers received the intervention were seven times more likely to be exclusively breastfed, and twice as likely to be predominantly breastfed.

When the children were older, researchers didn't find a significant difference in the weight of the children. Breastfeeding also did not appear to influence levels of later-life serum insulin-like growth factor, a natural chemical that regulates a child's stature and body composition.


Although the intervention appeared to promote breastfeeding, it did not appear to lower the prevalence of children who were overweight or obese. Keep in mind Belarus has a lower incidence of obesity than the United States.

Previous research published by Martin and colleagues from the same trial did document benefits of breastfeeding. They found that in the first year of life, children who were breastfed others had less-frequent gastrointestinal infections and eczema than those who were not. Around age 6, they tended to have higher scores on IQ tests.

"Efforts to promote, protect and support breastfeeding should continue," Martin said.

But for policy-makers aiming to reduce the levels of obesity across a population, they may want to focus on other efforts; breastfeeding may not be an effective one, Martin said.

soundoff (820 Responses)
  1. body shop raleigh

    very interesting , good job and thanks for sharing such a good blog.


    June 12, 2021 at 01:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Relentless Collision

    very interesting , good job and thanks for sharing such a good blog.


    June 12, 2021 at 02:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. after school programs gamrbills

    This is a very interesting article. Please, share more like this!


    June 12, 2021 at 02:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. after school program near crofton

    Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite great article.


    June 12, 2021 at 06:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. orange county ca rv parks


    June 12, 2021 at 07:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. High Top Van Repair Shop Near Me

    Hi, There's no doubt that your website might be having browser compatibility issues. Whenever I take a look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Aside from that, wonderful blog!


    June 12, 2021 at 07:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Fiberglass Riverside


    June 12, 2021 at 07:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Tire Repair Near Me


    June 12, 2021 at 08:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Body Repair San Diego


    June 12, 2021 at 08:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. family dollar near me


    June 12, 2021 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. financial advisor near me

    After looking over a number of the blog articles on your site, I honestly appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I book-marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future. Please visit my website as well and tell me what you think.


    June 12, 2021 at 16:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. pools near me


    June 12, 2021 at 19:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. warehouse jobs near me

    This is a topic that's near to my heart... Take care! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    June 12, 2021 at 20:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Zenobia Yordy

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl articles and blogs


    June 12, 2021 at 21:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. culver's near me

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who has been conducting a little research on this. And he actually bought me lunch simply because I found it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this matter here on your web page.


    June 13, 2021 at 00:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. urgent care near me


    June 13, 2021 at 01:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. therapist near me

    An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a friend who had been doing a little homework on this. And he actually ordered me lunch simply because I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this subject here on your web site.


    June 13, 2021 at 02:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. pizza hut near me


    June 13, 2021 at 03:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. total wine near me


    June 13, 2021 at 06:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. circle k near me


    June 13, 2021 at 09:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. subaru dealership near me

    This site really has all of the information I needed concerning this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    June 13, 2021 at 10:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. chinese restaurants near me


    June 13, 2021 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. nordstrom rack near me

    I like it when individuals come together and share thoughts. Great blog, keep it up!


    June 13, 2021 at 13:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. hot springs near me


    June 13, 2021 at 16:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. fire near me

    A motivating discussion is worth comment. I think that you should publish more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people do not talk about such subjects. To the next! Cheers!!


    June 13, 2021 at 18:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. tire stores near me


    June 13, 2021 at 20:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. bar near me


    June 13, 2021 at 21:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. cupcakes near me

    Great site you have got here.. Itís hard to find high-quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    June 13, 2021 at 22:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Natasha Sobota

    I don't know about you people but I infatuated with airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2009/07/european-union-regulates-lost-and-damaged-luggage/


    June 13, 2021 at 23:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. sushi near me

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be interesting to read through content from other authors and practice a little something from their web sites.


    June 14, 2021 at 00:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. used cars for sale near me

    Having read this I believed it was really enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!


    June 14, 2021 at 01:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. discount tires near me


    June 14, 2021 at 02:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. salons near me

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this article and also the rest of the site is very good.


    June 14, 2021 at 03:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. subaru dealership near me

    There is certainly a great deal to learn about this subject. I really like all of the points you have made.


    June 14, 2021 at 04:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. tool rental near me

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe that this web site needs a lot more attention. Iíll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the info!


    June 14, 2021 at 09:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. homedepot near me


    June 14, 2021 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. hardware store near me


    June 14, 2021 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. meijer near me


    June 14, 2021 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. pizza places near me

    You are so awesome! I don't think I've truly read through anything like that before. So nice to discover another person with some genuine thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This website is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with a little originality!


    June 14, 2021 at 16:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. martial arts near me

    Itís nearly impossible to find well-informed people in this particular topic, however, you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 14, 2021 at 20:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Nearest RV Repair

    I love it whenever people get together and share thoughts. Great site, stick with it!


    June 14, 2021 at 21:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Repair Places Near Me

    Iím impressed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog thatís equally educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is an issue that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy I stumbled across this during my hunt for something relating to this.


    June 14, 2021 at 21:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. RV Repair Near My Location

    Hello there! I simply wish to give you a huge thumbs up for the excellent information you have right here on this post. I will be returning to your site for more soon.


    June 14, 2021 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    Itís hard to come by experienced people in this particular topic, however, you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 15, 2021 at 00:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Repair Seal Beach


    June 15, 2021 at 00:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Repair

    Pretty! This has been a really wonderful article. Thanks for providing this info.


    June 15, 2021 at 02:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Camper Repairs Near Me


    June 15, 2021 at 04:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Keirii

    I lose you on Tumblr

    hmm, i suppose most ensure departing a long-lasting and then people who are positive sense on men or women? basically, Having an electricity that men and women normally romanticize or maybe a ponder rrn a very timeless technique?

    should i appropriate here, spots placements who would allude for individuals having one of these result on people used these folks:

    Mercury trine and also sextile neptune. (how the person convey is noticeably wistful, significant, since sounds bigger than everyday life. type of to make sure you whisper something asiame review with your head of stays at hand your life)

    silent celestial body to the first bungalow. (men think of this individual as their girly friend alternatively someone that truthfully is aware these guys. constantly the foregoing position is giving persons soulful in addition artistically great big eyes is often the main topic of individuals excited insights and beliefs)

    Venus or perhaps even mars across rewards using pluto. (superbly intense. whenever used the person with his thing, you sense as though you utilizing a vital mystery to have them. They cause you to feel interesting, Which is something that bound to manufacture a lasting picture)

    Pluto along at the 11th real estate. (the exact 11th house is actually good friends, not to mention pluto is truly extreme, powerful, and very beneficial. your great using pluto in your 11th hold should never does someone screwy, likely to be good with loving, And you forever keep in mind your kids. the amount of glued camaraderie that folks note nostalgic schoolgirl songs information on)

    i i well clear the best query! thank you asking an appropriate question us a this, this excellent returning to brainsrm xx.

    June 15, 2021 at 04:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Norene Bork

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life websites and blogs


    June 15, 2021 at 08:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Sprinter Repair Near Me

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn't disappoint me just as much as this particular one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I genuinely believed you would have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.


    June 15, 2021 at 09:32 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Leave a Reply to RV Repair Orange County California


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.