Analyzing the Relationship Between Exclusive Breastfeeding and the Onset of Childhood Obesity at 9-12 Months of Age
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractChildhood obesity is a public health crisis prevalent in the United States, particularly among Hispanics in Southern Arizona. There is much speculation that breastfeeding may be linked to a decreased risk of childhood obesity/overweight, but the association is unknown. Our purpose is to investigate the potential benefit of breastfeeding as a way to combat the obesity epidemic in Southern Arizona. The Ready.Set.StartSmart!(RSSS) database from a childhood obesity prevention study underway at The University of Arizona was used to examine whether there is a difference in the weight status of children who are exclusively breastfed compared to those who are bottle fed. We found children who were exclusively breastfed to be five times less likely to be overweight/obese at one year of age than those who were bottle fed(p=0.062). Despite the lack of statistical significance, our results indicate that breastfeeding may be a way to minimize the incidence of childhood obesity and overweight, though a larger sample size is needed. Other variables analyzed were: insurance status, primary language, birth order, mother’s age and pre-pregnancy BMI, RSSS intervention, and length of pregnancy. Of these, only the RSSS intervention status seemed to affect the overweight/obesity prevalence at one year of age.
Degree ProgramHonors College