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Medicine (Baltimore). 2014 Aug;93(10):e55. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000000055.

Effect of breastfeeding on childhood BMI and obesity: the China Family Panel Studies.

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Institute of Social Science Survey, Peking University, Beijing (HJ, HD, MC, PL, JH); Department of Social Science (HJ); Section of Discipline Construction and Development Planning (YY), Shenyang Medical College; Emergency Department (LL), Shengjing Hospital, China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning, China; Institute for Social Research (HX), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Graduate School of Economics (JW), Fukuoka University, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka, Japan; and Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center and Department of Neurological Sciences (JY), Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois.


The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of breastfeeding on childhood obesity in China.We used data collected from the China Family Panel Studies, an ongoing, prospective, and nationwide longitudinal study to explore the extensive and dynamic social changes in China. A total of 7967 children were included in the analysis. Duration of breastfeeding was first treated as a continuous variable and subsequently dichotomized into ever versus never, ≥6 months versus <6 months, ≥8 months versus < 8 months, and ≥12 months versus <12 months. Multiple imputation was conducted and regressions with propensity score matching were performed. We also performed quantile regression to examine whether breastfeeding has an effect on childhood obesity among children with a specific quantile of body mass index (BMI).Consistent with findings from recent studies, in both adjusted and adjusted regressions, we did not find any statistically significant effect of breastfeeding on reducing the risk of obesity (unadjusted odds ratio, OR = 1.02, 95% confidence interval, CI 0.99, 1.05, P = 0.12; adjusted OR 1.01, 95% CI 0.98, 1.05, P = 0.36) or excessive weight (unadjusted OR = 1.01, 95% CI 0.99, 1.03, P = 0.26; adjusted OR = 1.00, 95% CI 0.98, 1.02, P = 0.90). Results were similar using various dichotomization of duration of breastfeeding. Quantile regression revealed that longer duration of breastfeeding is associated with higher BMI among children with small to medium quantile of BMI.Our findings echo recent research and caution against any population-wide strategy in attempting to reduce overweight and obesity through promotion of breastfeeding.

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