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Breastfeeding Reduces Teen Obesity

As you know, breastfeeding reduces your child's risk of obesity. And, the longer you breastfeed your child, according to a new study, the more you lessen your teen's chances of being obese.

Researchers surveyed more than 5,000 children between ages 9-14, comparing their health to siblings who had been breastfed for varying durations. Those who were breastfed for a longer time -- even within the same family -- were less likely to become obese.

What's more, four months of extra breastfeeding time lowers a teen's chances of obesity by a startling 6 percent. So, a mother who breastfed her infant until age 1 would reduce her child's chances of being obese by close to 20 percent, versus a baby weaned shortly after birth. Breastfeeding may also have a lasting positive effect on a child's metabolism that may allow him or her to better regulate their food intake, the lead researcher says.

Breastfeeding also protects your child from serious problems as celiac disease and crooked teeth.

If you're unable to breastfeed for very long, however, protect your child's health by staying away from soy formulas and reviewing this awesome series on healthy alternatives to conventional formulas.

Epidemiology, Vol. 17, No. 1, January 2006: 112-114

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