Breastfeeding and childhood obesity: Analysis of a linked longitudinal study of Appalachian children
Objective: To assess differences in obesity of 5th grade WV children who were either breastfed or not breastfed.
Methods: Secondary data-analysis was conducted using longitudinally matched data from two cross-sectional data sources, the WV Birth Score and the Coronary Artery Risk Detection In Appalachian Communities (CARDIAC) projects. Participants included 4506 WV children born between1998-2002. Body Mass Index (BMI) adjusted percent was defined as percent above the ideal BMI for age and gender. Exposure was occurrence of breastfeeding.
Results: The mean BMI adjusted percent of children who were not breastfed was greater than those who were breastfed (19.4% above ideal versus 17.1%; p=0.0053). The results of the multiple regression (p < 0.001) show that breastfeeding significantly predicts BMI adjusted percent (p=0.042), after controlling for birth weight and maternal smoking status.
Conclusions: Results support the growing body of research that suggests breastfeeding to be protective against childhood obesity, although this association may be small. These findings confirm the need for early interventions to guide mothers on appropriate feeding practices as one strategy to reduce childhood obesity.
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Discuss the association between breastfeeding and childhood obesity among Appalachian children Outline scientific evidence on the benefits of breastfeeding.
Keyword(s): Breastfeeding, Obesity
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a student in Epidemiology interested in conducting research on childhood obesity and infant feeding practices.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.