Correlation between the duration of breastfeeding and the occurrence of early childhood obesity

Introduction: Obesity and being overweight at the premature childhood can cause negative consequences on a physical, psychological, and financial level and their dealing with is a challenge for the public health. Moreover, the childhood obesity may be transferred to adulthood and cause a series of chronic illnesses, by increasing the morbidity and mortality. In the latest years, the prevalence of child obesity has increased dramatically. Unfortunately, Greece belongs to the countries with the highest percentages of childhood obesity, worldwide. Moreover, the development of obesity is a compound situation, which is owed to genetic, perigenetic, behavioral and environmental factors, which act additionally among them. One of the various ways to face and prevent childhood obesity is the baby’s breastfeeding. Especially the length of breastfeeding plays a significant role in the appearance of premature childhood obesity.

Aim: To study the best time period of the breastfeeding for the prevention of the appearance of premature childhood obesity.

Methodology: A review of the electronic database PubMed occurred in December 2020. The inclusion criteria were: 1) articles that were published between 2015-2021, 2) articles written in English or Greek, 3) a full text availability 4) the sample consisted of infants, babies and toddlers, 5) articles referred to humans, 6) the content of the articles concerns primary research studies, 7) articles that assessed the relation between the duration of maternal breastfeeding and the obesity of childhood. Results: 329 articles were defined and finally 14 of them based on the criteria of inclusion were studied extensively. Τhe length of breastfeeding for at least 3 months to 1 year decreased the childhood obesity percentages.

Conclusions: Breastfeeding and extensive breastfeeding duration may be a preventive measure for the appearance of premature childhood obesity. The effectiveness of breast milk in the prevention of childhood obesity appearance can depend on the way of its administration. The effectiveness is greater when the maternal milk is provided through the breast in relation to that provided from the bottle. Finally, both methods appear more effective than the providing of formula in the prevention of childhood obesity.

Category: Volume 62, Issue 1
Hits: 450 Hits
Created Date: 26-05-2023
Authors: Chrysoula Moustogianni , Panteleimon Perdikaris