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Study: Breastfeeding May Not Lessen Obesity Risk

Breastfeeding has long been associated with many benefits for baby, including reducing the risk of SIDS, ear infections and other health problems. But a new study found that while nursing is still considered best for baby, it may not be linked to a reduction in childhood obesity after all, as previously thought.

The study, from the University of Bristol and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at 14,000 mother-baby pairs in Belarus. There were two key findings. First, by around age 11, kids who were not breastfed were no more likely to be obese or overweight than those who were. The second was that moms who received nursing education developed by the World Health Organization and the United Nation’s Children’s Fund were more likely to breastfeed, and for longer. 

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This was a large randomized controlled study, Richard M. Martin, lead author, told CNN, the gold standard for scientific study in which other factors are accounted for. Despite this strong evidence that formula and obesity are not linked, there are still many good reasons to breastfeed. “Efforts to promote, protect and support breastfeeding should continue," Martin told CNN.

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