Obesity Among Schoolchildren and Breastfeeding


MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Michiyo Yamakawa MHSc

Department of Epidemiology
Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences,
Okayama, Japan

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: We found that breastfeeding was associated with decreased risk of  overweight and obesity at the age of 7 and 8 years compared with formula feeding. Moreover, the protective associations for obesity were greater than those for overweight.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Answer: The dose-response relationship for the outcome (normal weight vs overweight and obesity, respectively) was clearly observed at the ages of 7 and 8 years, i.e., breastfeeding was more protective against obesity than it was against overweight.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Answer: Mothers in developing countries are more motivated to breastfeed their infants than those in developed countries. One reason is that breastfeeding helps protect infants from common diseases during infancy such as respiratory infections and diarrhea which are epidemic in developing countries.

However, our results encourage mothers even in developed countries to breastfeed their infants longer.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Answer: Future research should focus on what factors of breastfeeding are related to a preventive effect on childhood obesity, e.g., hormones in breast milk, mode of breast milk delivery (directly or by bottle), less consumption of infant formula, or the others.

Moreover, similar population-based study should be conducted in other countries.


Breastfeeding and Obesity Among Schoolchildren
A Nationwide Longitudinal Survey in Japan

Yamakawa M, Yorifuji T, Inoue S, Kato T, Doi H. Breastfeeding and Obesity Among Schoolchildren: A Nationwide Longitudinal Survey in Japan. JAMA Pediatr. 2013;():-. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.2230.

Last Updated on September 19, 2013 by Marie Benz MD FAAD