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Kids Face a Slim Chance of Growing Obese, If Breastfed Longer Than Three Months

Breastfeeding always comes with a host of benefits. One more, which emphasizes the weight problems prevalent amongst present day kids, explains the importance of // breastfeeding in ensuring that children do not grow obese.

The study found that when children are breastfed longer than three months, the risk of getting obese reduces by almost 40%, especially if the child was born to an overweight mother also diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

Researchers in Germany studied nearly 324 children who were born between the years 1995-2000, to women who had diabetes during their pregnancy. The study found that more than 37 percent of the children who were never breastfed had grown to be overweight by the age of 8. And among those who were breastfed for up to three months, 32.5 percent turned out to be overweight. Among the children who were breastfed longer than three months, only 22 percent became overweight.

The study revealed that the longer a woman breastfed, the less likely her child would become overweight or obese before the age of 8.

Dr. Ute Schaefer-Graf, lead researcher on the study had this to say “It's important to find out why these women resist breastfeeding and help them overcome whatever barriers there are. We know that obesity and overweight contribute to numerous health problems in adults and we are increasingly seeing these problems in children. Since the children of obese parents and, in particular, of women who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, are at greater risk for gaining excessive amounts of weight as they grow up, breastfeeding becomes more important than ever as a means of getting children started on a path to good health. We strongly recommend anyone diagnosed with gestational diabetes to breastfeed for as many months as possible.”

This study has been published in the May issue of Diabetes Care.


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