Does breast-feeding prevents obesity?

The protective effect of breast-feeding against the subsequent occurrence of obesity is ascribed to the contents of mother's milk and the total length of breast-feeding. The aim of this study is to examine whether breast-feeding affects the occurrence of obesity in pre-school children. The research group were children who were breast-fed for at least three months, and the control group consisted of children fed from birth on artificial milk preparations. The average length of breast-feeding in the research group was 8.55 + 3.49 and the range of length of breast-feeding was from 4-12 months. The nutritional status of children was compared according to mean values of body mass and length and according to centile values. According to mean values, there is no statistically significant difference in body mass and length of children up to the second year of life regardless of the type of milk nutrition used in the first year of life but from 2-5 years of life the children fed on artificial milk were statistically significantly heavier (p < 0.05) Centile values are sensitive indicators of obesity in children and show that from 9 and 10 months of age the 95 centile for children fed with artificial milk preparations is significantly greater than in breast-fed children (p < 0.05) Breast-feeding was shown in this research to be a protective influence against the occurrence of obesity in childhood. The influence of milk preparations on the occurrence of obesity in childhood becomes visible as early as in the 9th and 10th months of life and increases through the pre-school period. In order to research the effect of breast-feeding on the occurrence of obesity in childhood children should be included right up to the beginning of adolescence. In comparing physical growth in children according to centile values, a separate centile curve should be used for breast-fed children during the pre-school period.
Category: Clinical observations - professional paper
Volume: Vol. 48, No 1, january - march 2004
Authors: Z. Zakanj, T. Wickerhauser Majer, J. Grgurić
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