A new study from the United States has claimed that pregnant women with diabetes can help to reduce the risk of their children becoming obese by breast-feeding them for at least six months.
The long-term research, carried out at the Colorado School of Public Health, involved monitoring 94 children from diabetic mothers and 399 children from non-diabetic mothers from their birth until they reached the age of 13. The children of diabetic mothers who breast-fed them for at least six months were seen to have slower growth in their body mass index (BMI) as they got older as compared to the children who were breast-fed for less than six months, with similar findings presented for those from non-diabetic pregnancies.
With previous studies having found that children born to diabetic mothers are at increased risk for obesity, this study, reported in the International Journal of Obesity, focused on the impact of breast-feeding on the rise in BMI, which is an indicator of childhood obesity.
Researcher Tessa Crume commented “Breast-feeding support represents an important clinical and public health strategy to reduce the risk of childhood obesity.”
She added “We can work with paediatricians, obstetricians and the public health community to give these women targeted support immediately following birth.”

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