Moms Who Breastfeed Cut Risk for Obesity Years Later

Breastfeeding can help a new mother lose some of the weight gained during pregnancy, but the benefits to weight loss don’t end there.

A new British study found that women who breastfed cut their risk of obesity 30 years later. The study was published in the International Journal of Obesity.

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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