What if your child brought home a letter for school, but instead of it being for behavior or grades it was because they were overweight? This is happening is schools in the USA. Children with a high BMI are being sent letters stating their current health statistics, and ways to help get them to a healthier status. This has raised uproar in states where it is taking place, but is it necessary? Many parents would take offence, but some are simply unaware of their child’s health risks or how to change behaviors. In an age where convenience out weighs health, it can be hard to avoid high fat, sugar and processed foods. Could raising awareness help? We may not know how the results of these letters now, but we do have some statistics on how to prevent child obesity starting day one! BREASTFEEDING! You got it. A 17 year study showed staggering results on how breastfed babies have lower obesity rates. By age 5, children that were never breastfed had obesity rates of 4.5% compared to only 0.8% in children that were breastfed for 1 year. By age 12 children breastfed for a minimum of 6 months had 22% lower obesity rates than non-breastfed babies. “Breastfed infants learn to control the amount of human milk and calories they consume better than bottle-fed infants, who are often forced to continue feeding and finish a bottle after they are satisfied. Energy-dense infant formulas may stimulate the endocrine system to secrete more insulin and growth factor than human milk does, which leads to increased rates of body fat in formula-fed babies (Hediger et al. 2001). – LLLI”
These statistics are hard to ignore. Breastfeeding starts a behavior of eating until full rather than eating until your “plate is finished” Of course this is just a small part of a long lone of benefits that breastfeeding provides. Breastfeeding can reduce your child’s chances of getting cancer, allergies, and diabetes to name a few.
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