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April 25, 2007

no formula for obesity?

I have friends who are gay and adopting a baby who is due in three days. They're trying to gear up to be confident new parents, but with each Google forward they get another screenful about the health risks of formula. They've been offered frozen breastmilk from a friend. But it's for a much older baby, not a newborn. It's kind of hard to ship it and it wouldn't last that long. And is it really worth it?

They were starting to feel OK about the slightly less miraculous formula and then last week they called me in a panic after reading the ingredients: palm oil, corn syrup...

But today there's some news that may take the edge off as they shake that first bottle. According to a study conducted by Harvard University and published in the International Journal of Obesity, breastfeeding does not reduce the chances for obesity later in life.

"I'm the first to say breastfeeding is good. But I don't think it's the solution to reducing childhood or adult obesity," said the study's lead author, Karin Michels of Harvard Medical School.

The study included 14,500 women who were breastfed as babies and more than 21,000 who were not.

Days before this study was announced, there was another story about British scientists who are trying to develop a formula that includes leptin-- an ingredient in breastmilk that suppresses hunger and may minimize obesity later in life. We'll see what happens with the leptin...

In the meantime, I hope the obesity study gives my friends some reassurance. That and the fact that they are quite possibly saving a life. Isn't that miraculous enough?

by ceridwen at 8:36 AM
in breastfeeding | daddy world


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