With Regard to Avoiding Excessive Weight Gain, Breastfeeding is Best

A recent study (AR Goetz et al J Pediatr 2018; 201: 27-33) examines the impact of breastfeeding on the growth of infants with high birth weight (HBW).

Background: “Exclusive breastfeeding is protective against high weight and is recommended by” the AAP for the first 6 months.  In this study, the authors hypothesized that “HBW infants would receive a lower percentage of breast milk and consume more formula than NBW infants.”

Key findings:

  • HBW infants with high weights at 7-12 months of age demonstrated a rapid decline in the percentage of breast milk feedings compared with HBW infants with normal weights at 7-12 months of age.
  • Normal birth weight infants with high weights at 7-12 months of age received a lower percentage of breast milk and more formula intake that those with normal weights at 7-12 months of age.

Because HBW is associated with later risk of obesity/overweight, identifying strategies early in life is important.  Furthermore, as a recent study in NEJM has shown (M Geserick et al. NEJM 2018; 379: 1303-12), a lot of weight gain issues happen in the first years of life:

  • Almost 90% of children who were obese at 3 years of age were overweight or obese in adolescence
  • Among obese adolescents, the most rapid weight gain had occurred between 2 and 6 years of age

My take: This study further shows a strong association between consumption of breast milk and normal weights at 7-12 months of age, both in HBW and NBW.

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1 thought on “With Regard to Avoiding Excessive Weight Gain, Breastfeeding is Best

  1. Pingback: Briefly Noted: Breastfeeding and Microbiome Diversity | gutsandgrowth

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