Larry Herman, DMSc, MPA, PA-C, DFAAPA
Purpose: This article aims to investigate whether breastfeeding infants leads to a decrease or prevention of obesity in the pediatric population when compared to formula-feeding infants.
Method: A literature search was performed utilizing PubMed and Google Scholar search engines with the following key terms: “pediatric obesity prevention,” “breastfed,” and “formula-fed.” The search was filtered for systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and randomized controlled trials and limited to articles published in the last five years. This led to the retrieval and selection of eight articles that addressed the research question.
Results: Evidence exists that supports the use of breast milk over formula milk in the prevention of childhood obesity. The literature supports the use of breastfeeding infants for at least 4-6 months for the protective factors against childhood obesity to be significant.
Conclusion: Pediatric obesity is a pandemic of growing concern, making early prevention critical to clinicians and families. Obesity affects approximately seventeen percent of children in the United States and impacts all aspects of life, including psychological, cardiovascular, and overall physical health. Combined with several other medical problems, obesity increases morbidity and premature death. Nutrition plays a significant role in impacting childhood obesity, and evidence is beneficial in achieving a healthy weight, breastfeeding as a preventive measure against pediatric obesity is recommended.
Nwogu E. Prevention of Childhood Obesity Using Breast Milk Compared to Formula Milk. University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository. 2022; 4(4).
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