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New studies add insights to infant feeding and obesity issue
Date:4/10/2008

de evidence that research design can have a significant impact on infant feeding study results. In a randomized infant feeding clinical trial, known as the gold standard in research, infants would be randomly assigned to be breastfed or formula-fed; however, such trials are generally not feasible in infant feeding research, since most mothers determine their infants feeding method. Dr. Kramer randomly assigned hospitals to implement breastfeeding promotion practices and standard care. He found that despite the substantial increase in prolonged and exclusive breastfeeding among mothers receiving the intervention, there were no differences between their children (n= 7,108 subjects) and the children of mothers from the control hospitals (n= 6,781 subjects), that did not implement breastfeeding promotion practices, on several measures of adiposity at 6.5 years of age.

These findings challenge the concept that breastfeeding reduces the risk of obesity in childhood, as some other studies have found. Speaking of the strength of his study design and the fact that other studies due to their design may have been prone to inherent bias, Dr. Kramer noted, Previously reported beneficial effects on these outcomes (measurements of obesity) may be the result of uncontrolled confounding and selection bias. The study performed by Dr. Kramer represents the largest randomized trial done to date in the area of human lactation.

Other researchers at the symposium presented the outcomes of more traditional epidemiologic studies that were based on observational designs and thus had limitations such as not being able to control subjects behavior. Beth Mayer-Davis, Ph.D., R.D., professor of nutrition and diabetes researcher at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, discussed findings from her research on infant feeding and diabetes in ethnic groups in a United States population. In her observational study of less than 300 subjects, mothers of children with dia
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Contact: Marisa Salcines
msalcines@infantformula.org
404-252-3663
Kellen Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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