Breastfed Children Exhibit Fewer Behavioral Problems
The study used a survey of British babies born in 2000-2001 including data from over 9,500 mothers.
In a recent study, British researchers investigated the incidence of behavioral problems in children who were breastfed vs. those fed formula. Using a “strengths and difficulties” questionnaire completed by parents, they found that abnormal scores were less common in children who were breastfed for at least four months.
The study used a survey of British babies born in 2000-2001 including data from over 9,500 mothers. The researchers looked at how long mothers had breastfed, and compared results from the questionnaire used for identifying possible behavioral problems in their children. They found that abnormal questionnaire scores in children who were breastfed for at least four months to be 6%, compared to 16% in the formula-fed children. These results were consistent even when researchers considered socioeconomic or parental factors.
A possible reason, according to the researchers, was that breast milk contains large amounts of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, growth factors and hormones that are all essential for proper brain and nervous system development.
Other commonly touted benefits are lower rates of childhood infection and a lower incidence of breast cancer among breastfeeding mothers. Positive bonding between mother and child has also been shown to influence behavioral problems. There is even some evidence of lower levels of obesity in breastfed children.
“Believing that any man-made formula can duplicate and take the place of breast milk is foolish,” say boomer generation health experts Dian Griesel, Ph.D., and Tom Griesel, authors of the new books TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust (April 2011, BSH) and The TurboCharged Mind (January 2012, BSH).
“There are many compounds in mother’s milk, in just the right proportions, which make it the ideal baby food,” adds Dian. “It is exactly the ‘formula’ the human race has survived and flourished on for tens of thousands of years. and it will continue to be the best nourishment for our children for as long as we are around.”
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