#Breastfeeding#BMI#Body Mass Index#Obesity#University of#Obesity

Breastfeeding can reduce BMI long-term

Mothers can stay slimmer for longer if they breastfeed, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Obesity. The study, which wa...

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|Jul 13|magazine14 min read

Mothers can stay slimmer for longer if they breastfeed, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Obesity. The study, which was funded by Cancer Research and the Medical Research Council (MRC) found that women who breastfed their children have a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than those who did not.

740 thousand post-menopausal women participated in the UK trial, which found that long term weight was affected in both childbearing and breastfeeding women. The effects found, however, were slightly different for each group.

 

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The results displayed that a woman’s BMI increases according to how many children they have had. However, those who had breastfed have considerably lower average BMI no matter how many children they conceived.

Those who participated displayed a 1 percent decrease in their BMI with every six months they had breastfed. Other factors highly associated with obesity, such as smoking, exercise and social deprivation were not found to have any effect on women’s BMI.

The Director of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford and study co-author, Professor Dame Valerie Beral, told the press:

"A one percent reduction in BMI may seem small, but spread across the population of the UK that could mean about 10,000 fewer premature deaths per decade from obesity-related conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers."

Dr Kirsty Bobrow, leading author of the paper, wants women to know how much breastfeeding not only benefits the babies, but also themselves, even 20 years after they give birth.

Director of the MRC/Chief Scientist Office Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Professor Dame Macintyre, told Medical News Today:

"The obesity epidemic is one of the biggest challenges facing both high income and, increasingly, low and middle income countries. Rates of obesity are continuing to rise. Studies such as this one, which look at broad trends within a large population, can help us to develop effective strategies to prevent obesity and its related diseases."

 

Mothers can stay slimmer for longer if they breastfeed, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Obesity. The study, which was funded by Cancer Research and the Medical Research Council (MRC) found that women who breastfed their children have a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than those who did not.

740 thousand post-menopausal women participated in the UK trial, which found that long term weight was affected in both childbearing and breastfeeding women. The effects found, however, were slightly different for each group.

The results displayed that a woman’s BMI increases according to how many children they have had. However, those who had breastfed have considerably lower average BMI no matter how many children they conceived.

Those who participated displayed a 1 percent decrease in their BMI with every six months they had breastfed. Other factors highly associated with obesity, such as smoking, exercise and social deprivation were not found to have any effect on women’s BMI.

The Director of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford and study co-author, Professor Dame Valerie Beral, told the press:

" A one percent reduction in BMI may seem small, but spread across the population of the UK that could mean about 10,000 fewer premature deaths per decade from obesity-related conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers."

 

Dr Kirsty Bobrow, leading author of the paper, wants women to know how much breastfeeding not only benefits the babies, but also themselves, even 20 years after they give birth.

Director of the MRC/Chief Scientist Office Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Professor Dame Macintyre, told Medical News Today:

"The obesity epidemic is one of the biggest challenges facing both high income and, increasingly, low and middle income countries. Rates of obesity are continuing to rise. Studies such as this one, which look at broad trends within a large population, can help us to develop effective strategies to prevent obesity and its related diseases."