After analyzing data from the United Kingdom’s Million Women Study, which includes more than 740,000 participants, researchers from Oxford University concluded that for every six months a woman breastfeeds, she decreases her body mass index by 1 percent.
It may not seem like much, but researchers say if every British mother breastfed for six months, there would be 10,000 fewer deaths related to obesity in 10 years. Obesity is associated with diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.
The World Health Organization recommends that women breastfeed their babies exclusively for the first six months. After that, women should continue to breastfeed along with introducing appropriate foods up to two years of age or beyond.
Sources: International Journal of Obesity, World Health Organization
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