Breastfeeding and Weight

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Story Updated: Mar 14, 2013

But now, a brand new report suggests breastfeeding may not help in one important area the battle against obesity.

The study included nearly 14-thousand infants...born at 31 different hospitals...who were followed for more than a decade.

At an average age of 11-and-a-half, the children who had been exclusively breastfed for a minimum of the first three months of life did not see a measurable benefit in the weight department.

There was no significant difference in the percentage of overweight or obese kids when comparing the breastfed group with a control group.

But the researchers are quick to point out that breastfeeding still had many other benefits, including fewer gastrointestinal infections and less atopic eczema in infancy. Improved cognitive development at age 6.5 years was also found in the study participants.

The take home? Breast feeding provides a fantastic start...but does not appear to offer long lasting effects that will ward off obesity.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the health news that matters to you and your family.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com