Study Finds Breastfeeding Lowers Risk of Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is on the rise, a fact that has many parents anxious. But what's a mother to do? Well, according to a new study by the Data Mining Project, a research partnership between PHFE-WIC and First 5 LA, breastfeeding helps prevent obesity.

The Project last month released a research brief highlighting newfound benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and infants. It was the second of 10 reports outlining needs of families with small children in L.A. County.

In addition to lowering the risk of obesity in children, the new study indicates that breastfeeding can also significantly lower the risk of diabetes and breast cancer in mothers.

“I am delighted that this brief is coming out in time for World Breastfeeding Month in August,” said Shannon E. Whaley, Ph.D., Child Development Specialist for PHFE-WIC. “Breastfeeding has emerged as a key strategy in the prevention of obesity in early childhood and beyond.”

According to the report, the strength of a woman's intention to breastfeed during pregnancy has a direct influence on the duration of time she ends up nursing her baby after birth. Hospitals, healthcare providers, employers and the community play a crucial role in providing support services and information that will increase a mother’s likelihood to breastfeed.

To download the brief, log-on to www.first5la.org. To receive a hard copy, contact Mayra Gomez at (213) 482-7551. You may also access the results of the study at www.healthycity.org.

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