Prevention Begins with Breastfeeding

"Breast milk is already acknowledged as the best food for infants. The increased initiation and duration of breastfeeding may also provide a low-cost, readily available strategy to help prevent childhood and adolescent obesity."
- William Dietz, MD, PhD, Director, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Did you know that breastfeeding can help prevent children becoming overweight? If you exclusively breastfeed (no formula or solid foods) for six months, and continue to breastfeed as mutually desired, you are giving your child a healthy start.

The experts have studied breastfeeding and its link to preventing childhood obesity. They found out that:

  • Breastfed babies eat only what they need. Mothers must trust the infant to tell them when he is full.
  • Healthy foods the breastfeeding mom eats can change the flavor of milk. The baby is introduced to new tastes early and may be more open to these solid foods when started.
  • Breastfed babies seem to have the ability to store less body fat. This can help prevent weight gain as they get older.

Breastfeeding helps moms too. Breastfeeding burns an additional 500 calories, which can help moms, get back to their pre-pregnancy weight.

For more information on the other benefits of breastfeeding go to Breastfeeding Support and Promotion.