Another brick out of the wall.

Unpopular things are tricky, aren’t they. Like saying “Abstinence programmes for sex education don’t help reduce unwanted pregnancy” or “dummy use in babies reduced SIDS and didn’t really cause funny teeth “. Here’s another one – breast feeding probably doesn’t reduce obesity rates in later childhood. The results of an 11 year follow up of an RCT [1] confirm that, as systematic reviews with meta-analysis have suggested, the weight reduction in children may be the result of publication bias and selective outcome reporting bias.

There are still some really great reasons to breastfeed; stuff like the longer periods of proper sleep experienced as a father, the reduction in GI disturbance and death, and potentially reduced chance of childhood leukaemia (well – that’s a bit weak too). Breast IS best, but let’s not oversell it.


1. Martin RM, Patel R, Kramer MS, Guthrie L, Vilchuck K, Bogdanovich N, et al. Effects of promoting longer-term and exclusive breastfeeding on adiposity and insulin-like growth factor-I at age 11.5 years: a randomized trial. JAMA 2013;309(10):1005-13.

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