Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

ABSTRACTS: Pre-Congress Workshop Abstracts


Calvo, M. C. M.1; De Assis, M. A.2; Rolland-Cachera, M. F.3

Author Information
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: June 2004 - Volume 39 - Issue - p S543
  • Free

Introduction: It is important to understand the causes of overweight and obesity, and the contribution of breast feeding. The evidence that breast feeding protects against obesity is inconclusive: some studies showed a protective effects and others found no effect.The objective of this paper is to assess the impact of breast feeding on the frequency of obesity and overweight in Brazilian children 7–9-y-old.

Methods: Descriptive, cross-sectional school based study. We used data from a randomly stratified sample of 2241 school children living in the city of Florianopolis, in southern Brazil. Of the 2241 children aged 7–9-y-old we included 1847 children (944 girls and 903 boys) from 16 schools (60.1% from public schools) for whom data on duration of breast feeding and body mass index (BMI) were available. Anthropometric data was collected from September to November 2002. Breast feeding was assessed using a questionnaire completed by parents. It was defined as being exclusively breast fed or not. The duration was assessed in months. After computing BMI, children were classified as obese or overweight (including obesity) using the references of the International Obesity Task Force. The appropriate qui squared tests were used to compare breastfed and non-breastfed children and their association with the child being overweight or obese.

Results: The percentage of children breast fed was 87.0% (86.2% in public schools and 88.2% in private schools). Among breast fed children, mean duration of breast feeding was 11.23 months (SD=10.76); (minimum= 1 month and maximum = 72 months). Children from public schools (mean=12.31 months; SD=12.19) were breast fed longer time than children from private schools (mean=9.64 months;SD=7.94). In Public schools, the frequency of obesity in children breast fed was 6.1% and in children not breast fed was 11.8. In private schools, the frequency of obesity in children breast fed was 4.6% and in children not breast fed was 8.0%. The frequency of overweight including obesity in children breast fed from public schools was 21.9% and in children not-breast fed was 22.2%. This frequency was higher in children from private schools, in both conditons, breast fed (24.8%)and not-breast fed (32.2%). Although there is a trend for increasing this prevalence in children not breast fed from private schools, differences did not reach statistic significance.

Conclusion: We found no evidence that breast feeding influenced obesity and overweight. The studies examining early infant nutrition and later obesity are observational and therefore subject to several caveats.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.