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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Oct;28(10):1247-56.

Breast-feeding and childhood obesity--a systematic review.

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  • 1Institute for Social Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians University, D-81377 Munich, Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the relationship between breast-feeding and obesity in childhood.

DESIGN:

Systematic review and meta-analysis of published epidemiological studies (cohort, case-control or cross-sectional studies) comparing early feeding-mode and adjusting for potential confounding factors. Electronic databases were searched and reference lists of relevant articles were checked. Calculations of pooled estimates were conducted in fixed- and random-effects models. Heterogeneity was tested by Q-test. Publication bias was assessed from funnel plots and by a linear regression method.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Odds ratio (OR) for obesity in childhood defined as body mass index (BMI) percentiles.

RESULTS:

Nine studies with more than 69,000 participants met the inclusion criteria. The meta-analysis showed that breast-feeding reduced the risk of obesity in childhood significantly. The adjusted odds ratio was 0.78, 95% CI (0.71, 0.85) in the fixed model. The assumption of homogeneity of results of the included studies could not be refuted (Q-test for heterogeneity, P>0.3), stratified analyses showed no differences regarding different study types, age groups, definition of breast-feeding or obesity and number of confounding factors adjusted for. A dose-dependent effect of breast-feeding duration on the prevalence of obesity was reported in four studies. Funnel plot regression gave no indication of publication bias.

CONCLUSION:

Breast-feeding seems to have a small but consistent protective effect against obesity in children.

PMID:
15314625
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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