Saturday, September 10, 2005

Breast Feeding Prevents Overweight?

The Leche league validated. Or, maybe McDonalds can breath easier. Seventeen studies were found meeting inclusion criteria. Statistical significant reduction in risk of overweight was found for any breast feeding. The risk of overweight declined to 0.68 for greater than 9 months. Maybe the endemic of overweight decried by CDC is really due to decline in breast feeding.

BrooklynDodger was not interested enough to get the full text to see the discussion of confounding, which is the first concern with any data of this kind. Weight at exit from breast feeding compared to formula babies would be nice to know. The Dodger is hard pressed to figure biological plausibility.

American Journal of Epidemiology 2005 162(5):397-403; doi:10.1093/aje/kwi222

American Journal of Epidemiology Copyright © 2005 by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health All rights reserved
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Duration of Breastfeeding and Risk of Overweight: A Meta-Analysis
Thomas Harder1, Renate Bergmann1, Gerd Kallischnigg2 and Andreas Plagemann1
1 Clinic of Obstetrics, Division of Experimental Obstetrics, Charité—University Medicine, Berlin, Germany2 Epidemiology Research Group, Institute of Public Health, Technical University, Berlin, Germany
Reprint requests to Dr. Thomas Harder, Clinic of Obstetrics, Division of Experimental Obstetrics, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Charité—University Medicine Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany (e-mail: (image placeholder)).
Observational studies suggest a longer duration of breastfeeding to be associated dose dependently with a decrease in risk of overweight in later life. The authors performed a comprehensive meta-analysis of the existing studies on duration of breastfeeding and risk of overweight. Studies were included that reported the odds ratio and 95% confidence interval (or the data to calculate them) of overweight associated with breastfeeding and that reported the duration of breastfeeding and used exclusively formula-fed subjects as the referent. Seventeen studies met the inclusion criteria. By meta-regression, the duration of breastfeeding was inversely associated with the risk of overweight (regression coefficient = 0.94, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.89, 0.98). Categorical analysis confirmed this dose-response association (<1 month of breastfeeding: odds ratio (OR) = 1.0, 95% CI: 0.65, 1.55; 1–3 months: OR = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.74, 0.88; 4–6 months: OR = 0.76, 95% CI: 0.67, 0.86; 7–9 months: OR = 0.67, 95% CI: 0.55, 0.82; >9 months: OR = 0.68, 95% CI: 0.50, 0.91). One month of breastfeeding was associated with a 4% decrease in risk (OR = 0.96/month of breastfeeding, 95% CI: 0.94, 0.98). The definitions of overweight and age had no influence. These findings strongly support a dose-dependent association between longer duration of breastfeeding and decrease in risk of overweight.

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