Breastfeeding can reduce the chances of a child becoming obese and 25%, according to a large study involving 16 countries.
World Health Organization experts (WHO), who controlled European study called for additional assistance and support for women to breastfeed, and also borders on the marketing of formula milk, which said senior author Dr. João Breda, launched the Women in error breast thinking is not necessarily better.
"We need to see more measures to encourage breast-feeding, how to paid maternity leave," said Breda of the WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases.
"We need less inappropriate marketing of formula milk, which can cause some mother believes that it is as good for children as breast milk."
The study showed more than 77% of children across Europe were breastfed, but the rates were very different. In Ireland, 46% of mothers never breast-fed, and in France, which is almost 34%. WHO recommends that women breastfeed exclusively for six months, if they can.
These data came from nearly 30 000 children who are observed within the framework of childhood obesity initiative, WHO Surveillance (Cosi). Launched in 2007 Cosi is constantly updated, and is now receiving data from about 40 countries on children aged six to nine – but not in the UK, which measures children to school around the age of four and 11.
UK breastfeeding rates are low. Although 81% of mothers in the UK are beginning to breastfeed for six weeks, which dropped to 24% in England, 17% in Wales and 13% in Northern Ireland, according to recent data, from 2010 to the six months, only 1% of exclusive breastfeeding feeding, although 34% still do some breastfeeding.
In absolute terms, 16.8% of children who were never breastfed were obese, compared with 13.2% who were breastfed at the time, and 9.3% of children breast-fed for six months or more.
After adjusting for demographics, children who were never breastfed were 22% more likely to be obese, and those who had been breastfed were 12% more likely obese for at least six months than children who were breastfed feeding for six months. Protection for children who were exclusively breastfed for six months – without any formula or withdrawal of products involved – was even higher, at 25%.
WHO paper presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Glasgow and published in the journal Obesity facts, says that there are a number of reasons, which are fed to protect the child from obesity. Exclusive breastfeeding delays the introduction of solid foods, which may be high energy. There is also some evidence that babies fed formula have higher blood insulin levels, which can stimulate fat deposits.
But other factors may include a healthy lifestyle among the seven & # 39; families where women breastfeed recognized Breda. Whatever the reasons, women should be told that breastfeeding protects against obesity, he said. "Breastfeeding is a very strong protective effect. There is evidence. Benefit from the & # 39 is outstanding, so we have to tell people. "
Kate Brintworth, the transformation of the head of maternity at the Royal College of Midwives, said the study confirmed the need to put more resources into supporting women to breastfeed.
"We need a more specialized support for breastfeeding women after childbirth and longer for midwives to offer support to women, telling us that they need," she said.
"We know that in the postpartum period, many women say that they do not feel midwives and auxiliary workers midwife have time to give them support, which would allow considerably more to continue breastfeeding.
"Nevertheless, it is important that we respect the choice of a woman to feed the baby, and that if a woman chooses not to breastfeed for any reason, it must be maintained in such a choice."
Camping Ashmore, director of the initiative of the UNICEF Baby Friendly Britain, which accredits the hospital and other services that support a woman breastfeeding a high level, he said: "Breast milk – breast milk – specifically designed for babies. Not only that, it acts as the first child of the vaccine, protection against infections, but it also affects the long-term health, including acting as the first anti-obesity epidemic.
"In the UK we have some of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the world … In addition, for feeding infants with & # 39 it is a very emotional subject, because many family & # 39; and do not breastfeed or have experienced trauma tried very hard to feed breast and failed. We need more support to help young mothers learn skills of breastfeeding, as well as rules that will help them to continue breastfeeding for the first year of life. "