A Project of the Child Trends News Service Supported by the National Science Foundation

Why Breast is Best

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — You’ve probably heard the phrase “Breast is Best” when it comes to feeding a baby and studies have shown breastfeeding does in fact offer health benefits, including a lower risk for obesity. But now, research offers a new clue as to why this link exists.

Bottle or breast? You’ve probably heard that “Breast is Best” for your baby, but why?

Turns out, it might be more than just the milk that benefits your little bundle. Childhood obesity researchers studied babies for six years to find out why breastfed babies became healthier kids. The study found that moms who breastfeed tend to give their babies and children healthier foods later in life. Formula-fed babies consumed more sugar-sweetened drinks and fewer fruits and veggies at age six than breastfed babies. Infants who ate more junk food, such as french fries and sweet desserts, were more likely to be overweight children. So parents, the milk and the foods you give your baby now may influence your child’s own food choices in the future.

Breastfeeding has also been linked to a lower risk of allergies, asthma, ear infections, and hospitalizations. Some studies show breastfed babies may also have higher IQ scores in later childhood.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Julie Marks, Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

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