Formula feeding and obesity: A big fat lie

There are a myriad of benefits attributed to breastfeeding; some which are backed by stronger science than others. Since all of these studies are observational and can’t control for every conceivable confounder, we need to look at “reviews” or meta-studies to see if the same finding is being confirmed in a variety of good-quality studies. For certain benefits – like a decrease in ear infections and gastrointestinal infections – we’ve seen enough evidence to justify touting these advantages. So I honestly have no problem with people claiming that breastfeeding protects against these two childhood health threats.
But one of the least definitive claims in breastfeeding science is that breastfeeding protects against childhood obesity – or, more to the point, that formula feeding increases the chance of obesity. Yet this seems to be the cause du jour of Michelle Obama’s plan to fight childhood obesity. Politics Daily reports:
    
 Looking ahead to what she will do in the second year of “Let’s Move,” Mrs. Obama said: “We also want to focus on the important touch points in a child’s life. And what we’re learning now is that early intervention is key. Breastfeeding. Kids who are breastfed longer have a lower tendency to be obese.
Breastfeeding rates are low among African-American mothers compared to other racial and ethnic groups, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Mrs. Obama took note of this when she addressed the Congressional Black Caucus Conference on Sept. 10.
“And because it’s important to prevent obesity early, we’re also working to promote breastfeeding, especially in the black community — where 40 percent of our babies never get breastfed at all, even in the first weeks of life, and we know that babies that are breastfed are less likely to be obese as children,” she said.
Really, Michelle? We know that? (And guys, before anyone starts freaking out on me, I’m an independent. I hate politics. This is not about politics to me, it’s about bad science.)
 I’m not sure exactly what research Obama is referring to, but at least her administration’s Surgeon General is leaning on a 1997 AHRQ report for their recent “Call for Action on Breastfeeding”. Let’s see what that report actually says about the link between breastfeeding and obesity:
Obesity. Three meta-analyses of good and moderate methodological quality reported an association of breastfeeding and a reduction in the risk of obesity in adolescence and adult life compared with those who were not breastfed. One study reported the reduction in the risk of overweight/obesity in breastfeeders compared with non-breastfeeders was 24 percent (95% CI 14% to 33%); another study reported 7 percent (95% CI 1% to 12%). Both of these estimates took into account the role of potential confounders. Furthermore, they also showed that the magnitude of association decreased when more confounders were entered into the analyses. The third study used meta-regression and found a 4 percent reduction in the risk of being overweight in adult life for each additional month of breastfeeding in infancy. Overall, there is an association between a history of breastfeeding and a reduction in the risk of being overweight or obese in adolescence and adult life.One should be cautious in interpreting all these associations because of the possibility of residual confounding.
Source: Breastfeeding and Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes in Developed Countries. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment No. 153, AHRQ Publication No. 07-E007. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. April 2007.
In plain speak, this report states that while a few studies have shown an advantage (and a small one, at that – a 4 percent reduction in risk is pretty puny, and probably not worth basing a whole campaign over) to breastfeeding when it comes to combating obesity, these studies have also been rife with confounding factors, and that the benefit is not entirely clear.
And guys, that is being GENEROUS. Let’s look at what some other studies have to say on this topic:
    “As in the 1958 birth cohort,3 results from their offspring provide no support for a protective effect of breast feeding on obesity. In studies reporting a protective effect, it is weak and not always supported by a dose-response relation, which might be expected, at least up to a threshold duration. Any effect of breast feeding may be limited to a critical period or depend on other cofactors. Secular trends do not suggest a protective effect: in both Britain and the United States the incidence of breast feeding has increased since 1990, but so has obesity. Promoting breast feeding is important, but evidence for an important beneficial effect on obesity is still equivocal.”
 Breastfeeding and obesity in childhood – a cross-sectional study. BMJ 2003; 327 : 904 doi: 10.1136/bmj.327.7420.904 (Published 16 October 2003)
“Most studies examining the effects of breastfeeding on later obesity have found an insignificant effect. Breastfeeding was positively associated with later body fatness in two studies. A protective effect of breastfeeding on childhood obesity was seen in four studies. An effect of breastfeeding on later obesity, if any, is probably weaker than genetic and other environmental factors. Also, an observed association between breastfeeding and later obesity does not prove causality. Controlling for confounders in an attempt to minimize the effects of differences between breastfeeding and formula-feeding mothers was done to a varying extent across studies. In several of the later studies, adjustment for confounders obliterated the effect of breastfeeding. Whether all the pertinent confounding factors have been measured and whether the differences between mothers who chose to breastfeed and mothers who chose to formula-feed have been controlled for adequately are always questionable… Although a highly provocative concept, the protective effect of breastfeeding on later obesity remains controversial.”
    – The role of breastfeeding in obesity.  Pediatr Clin North Am. 2001 Feb;48(1):189-98.
“According to David Barker, M.D., Ph.D., professor of clinical epidemiology at the University of Southampton, UK and professor of Cardiovascular in the Department of Medicine at the Oregon Health and Science University and one of the authors of the report, “A longer period of breastfeeding was associated with lower BMI (a measure for weight) at one year of age. This relationship disappeared by the age of 7 years.” Similarly, there was no significant difference in BMI at the age of 60 years associated with duration of breastfeeding….Another session presenter, Michael Kramer, M.D., pediatrician and perinatal epidemiologist at McGill University, reported findings from his breastfeeding promotion intervention trial that support Dr. Barker’s results..breastfeeding… did not reduce the development of obesity at 6.5 years of age.”
    – MommyMythBuster
There are other studies which do find some positive correlations between breastfeeding and lower BMI, but even the most convincing of these state that the benefit is consistent, but small. (See “Breastfeeding and Childhood Obesity – A Systematic Review“) I can’t wrap my mind around how large a gap  there is between what science actually says about this and the dramatic claims the government is now legitimizing. 
Michelle’s not totally to blame; it’s easy to get confused about this, when the media is so god-awful about reporting scientific findings. For example, there was a study that just came out which the news outlets were announcing showed that formula fed babies who started solids earlier had a greater chance of being fat:
Regardless of when they started eating solid foods, breastfed babies in the study had a one in 14 chance of being obese as preschoolers.

But the findings, published in the journal Pediatrics, were different among babies who were formula-fed from the beginning, or who stopped breastfeeding before they were 4 months old.Those babies had a one in four chance of being obese at age 3 if they started eating solid foods before they were 4 months old. If parents waited until between 4 and 5 months, the kids’ chances of being obese were one in 20.

The chance of being obese increased again if babies didn’t start eating solid foods until they were at least 6 months old, but there were too few of those babies for the authors to make a firm conclusion about the risk of waiting longer to feed a baby solid foods.”


Okay, I don’t know about you, but here’s what I glean from this Reuters article. Babies who are breastfed have a 1 in 14 chance of being obese no matter when they start solids. Formula fed babies who start solids between 4-6 months, as recommended by the AAP, and as is common practice in this country these days, have a 1 in 20 chance.

What’s lower, 1 in 14 or 1 in 20? I suck at math, but, umm….?

  
And yet, the remainder of this article goes into the same old shpiel about how most babies aren’t breastfed long enough, yadda yadda yadda.
I am all for promoting breastfeeding. I am glad that breastfeeding expenses can be used as a tax write off (although I’m aggravated that my expensive hypoallergenic formula doesn’t fall under the same category). But I am not a fan of misleading claims, especially when it comes to an issue this sensitive for so many women.
I’d also submit one last tibit, courtesy of MommaData’s awesome Polly Palumbo:
   
“Although never significant, there is even some suggestion of slightly higher rates of overweight among those who were breastfed for only a few months compared with those who were never breastfed, particularly among non-Hispanic blacks.”(http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/113/2/e81)
 “Some suggestion” is vague, but then again, so are most of the findings supporting this assertion that formula feeding increases the chance of obesity. What this suggests to me is that the science is far from clear on this issue, and saying we “know” that babies who are breastfed are less likely to be obese is one big fat lie.
I appreciate what Michelle is trying to do in supporting breastfeeding, but supporting it for the purpose of reducing obesity is misguided at best, and coercive at worst.

Suzanne Barston is a blogger and author of BOTTLED UP. Fearless Formula Feeder is a blog – and community – dedicated to infant feeding choice, and committed to providing non-judgmental support for all new parents. It exists to protect women from misleading or misrepresented “facts”; essentialist ideals about what mothers should think, feel, or do; government and health authorities who form policy statements based on ambivalent research; and the insidious beast known as Internetus Trolliamus, Mommy Blog Varietal.

Suzanne Barston – who has written posts on Fearless Formula Feeder.


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24 thoughts on “Formula feeding and obesity: A big fat lie

  1. Once again, THANK YOU for a clear account of the science. I wish the promotion of breastfeeding could rest on just the good science AND the fact that women deserve all of the support and good practices required to acquire and sustain a healthy breastfeeding relationship with their baby. Over-inflating the health benefits of breastfeeding doesn't do anyone any good.

    One of the big complaints I hear in lactivist circles is that the medical community doesn't do enough to support breastfeeding. This is just a theory, but here is why I think they are right. Because many in the medical community read and understand medical research. And, rightfully, they are left with the conclusion that there is no reason to go to the mattresses on breastfeeding (sorry, I'm tired and when I am tried I default to Godfather references) because the actual health benefits (or reductions in risk) are kind of small.

    But even small risk reductions are a big deal for public health. And this is why I am willing to cut some slack for FLOTUS (well and I adore her. I want to marry her arms.) I do wish we could find better rhetoric. Hyperbolic claims unsupported by the weight of the research can sabotage an otherwise well-intended public health campaign via a “crying wolf” effect.

  2. @K-

    I think that is a great point about physician support for BF efforts. GREAT point.

    And yes about the crying wolf thing. I get why advocates feel they need strong claims in order to get support for BFing in our society, but I think it will just have a rebound effect if they continue to exaggerate claims. I also think it defeats what I see as a HUGE bennie to BFing – the fact that it allows us to be really autonomous as women and mothers and not have to rely on science or doctors or corporations to feed our kids. That is seriously the biggest regret I have about not continuing to nurse Fearlette, and the one thing that keeps me up at night wishing I'd stuck with it a bit longer.

  3. This whole breastfeeding/obesity thing actually had me siding with a Tea Party talking head today, which was probably more disconcerting than the actual irritation over the flawed message.

    Great post title btw 😉

  4. Add me to those that want to marry Michelle's arms.

    Maybe I'm just reading the wrong stuff online, but I seem to see a LOT of debate about breastfeeding vs. formula feeding and not much discussion of feeding later in childhood. For years, my school lunches consisted of pizza dipped in Ranch dressing. Yeah, formula is processed, but it's not something that kids eat for years and years. Is it really *that* significant in the big picture of nutrition throughout childhood?

    I don't know, I just get the impression that the OMG PROCESSED DEVIL FOOD stuff applies to formula only, once the kids get a little older it's perfectly acceptable for them to eat nothing but pizza and boxed mac and cheese.

  5. I see this as yet another instance of a nanny state government trying to tell women that they know better than we do how to raise our kids. Ignoring the fact that this always seems to happen with issues that affect women, but not men (it's like they don't trust us or something!), this is very bad news for formula families. It's never just an innocent statement, like the First Lady's. It always snowballs.

    In some states, we've gone from “too much soda pop is bad for you” to “let's tax the hell out of it to force people to stop drinking it and if they don't, to make up for the fact that our state legislators have no more knowledge of how to stick to a budget than your average sea slug.” I think the only reason we haven't seen ration cards for sugary drinks is because legislators are addicted to the tax money they get out of them (much like cigarettes).

    I see this as a direct threat to formula-feeding moms. A popular and admired First Lady promotes breastfeeding, so LLL lactivists get even more emboldened to verbally assault women at the checkout line when they see that dreaded can of formula. Then next thing you know, they're making formula prescription-only, with high taxes to “encourage” women to breastfeed. Part of LLL's documents show the foundation for this: “Conversely, formula feeding should be thought of as a high cost health degenerator for mothers, babies and society. It is our tax dollars that pay for the consequences of feeding babies a milk designed for baby cows, or a milk designed from a plant.” (http://www.llli.org/Law/LawEnact.html)

    You'll see doctors who subtly or overtly refuse to treat formula-fed patients (like my baby's first ped) because they get kickbacks from the insurance companies the more their patients breastfeed. Hospitals that refuse to give formula to new babies over the wishes of their mothers, and militant lactation consultants bullying new moms in hospitals even more than they already do. Of course then there's the prospect of higher insurance premiums for those families that formula-feed to pay for the supposedly unhealthy choice for their soon-to-be morbidly obese, hive-pocked, dumb brute children.

    I've talked to LLL members online who make no bones about the fact that they're THAT close to calling child services on known formula-feeders as it is. I'm under no illusion that someone as powerful and popular as the First Lady won't bolster those who want to make formula-feeding families' lives more hellacious than they already try to do.

  6. All I'd like to say is the rise of obesity has a whole bunch of factors, and breastfeeding/formula feeding likely isn't one of them. Genetics likely plays a part. But in the long run obesity is this:

    The world today eats portions way way bigger than they ever were in the past, consumes more sugar and fats than they ever did in the past, consumes more processed foods with more ingredients than I know how to pronounce than ever before …

    AND

    Does less physical activity to counteract these things.

    Think back to the “olden days”. People ate hearty, healthy, good meals, that were home cooked and local product. There were no chemical filled foods, there weren't a great deal of fats and sugars that were over processed and full of stuff that you need a degree in science to understand…

    AND

    A great majority of these people, were farmers, or labourers or housewives who tended children and really put their back into cleaning, laundry and cooking. This is a great deal of physical activity to counter any food going in.

    Everyone was healthy, and portioned correctly.

    Put those people in todays environment, where we stuff our faces with too much food, all the time. And sit the majority of our days working behind a desk in a office without ever getting outside to move our bodies then they'll get fat too.

    Children become fat because they live by example. They see what we do, and what everyone else does and they do it too. This system is doomed to failure and it doesn't matter what we feed our infants, it matters what we feed them when we teach them about real food. It matters what they see us eat. It matters in the messages we see every day in media and entertainment.

    Infant feeding is but a small drop in the bucket of the *REAL* obesity issue.

    Eat healthy, good foods and reasonable portions, exercise, play with your children, and then there will be very little worry.

    And with that advice, I'm going out for a walk 🙂

  7. I just posted on Mamma Data's blog yesterday about the same issue w/r/t Michelle Obama. You two should write her letters addressing the issue. Of all the touted “benefits” of breastfeeding the obesity issue is the most ridiculous!
    Seriously, write her a letter, see if Joan Wolf will too. If we don’t start standing up for good science on the matter it’s not going to get better.

  8. Something that I've wanted to point out to people who claim the formula fed = obesity connections are the further connections that are founded in far more secure science. For instance:

    We know obese women often have hormone issues that can cause breastfeeding difficulties, not every obese woman but it's a common problem. We know that obese parents often teach their children (behavioral and environmental factors) which relate to obese problems in children and later as adults (I think it was as high as 80% if only one of the parents is obese.) So is the formula to blame, or is it more complicated than that? There's been no studies that I know of done to figure this out, and to me it seems like a big question that needs answering before we say formula is to blame.

    I do share the concern that a high profile individual like Michelle Obama could make things much worse. I've had issue with her entire war on obesity campaign as it is since there's very little to support some of her claims. For instance, obese and thin children spend close to the same amount of time in front of the TV and not doing active activities… and it's never as simple as “just don't eat so much”. There's connections to sleep and obesity as well as stress and obesity, but these are always glossed over. Meanwhile by focusing on “if you don't want to be fat, just eat less and exercise more” children are given permission to bully increasing that cortisol and sleep issues that increase their weight problems, a vicious cycle.

    And I do share concern that pointing the finger at formula being 'evil' is going to increase taxes or cause formula to be 'prescription only' if followed to it's logical conclusion. If it is supposedly a big health threat (and remember the First Lady has said that obesity is an epidemic and a huge health threat, with or without science to back her up, and this has been accepted) then it makes sense to try and limit it. For the record, obesity actually has fewer health risks than people think, so long as 'healthy living' is maintained (ie, the person exercises, eats healthy, and still is considered overweight or obese is not at increased health risks, it's the person who is not living healthy, no matter their weight, that has the increased health risks.) BMI is a very poor way of measuring this.

  9. Oookay… This isn't “scientific fact” but I have pictures to prove it.

    I was formula fed. I wasn't a fat baby.
    My husband was breastfed. He was a PORKER. I'm talking rolls EVERYWHERE. He looked like the Michellin Man when he was a year.

    My son at 9 months old is 21 pounds and 71cm long; he's formula fed. A good healthy weight and length. My nephew by marriage is 3 months and he's already wearing 9 month and over clothing. And he's not long. He's breastfed.

    Yeah, formula feeding causes kids to be fat.

  10. I'm really curious to know if Michelle Obama has publicly shared her own breastfeeding experience from when her children were infants, or is she part of this 40% that is quoted above? Does anyone here know? I'm not trying to berate her personally, I also respect that she is trying, even if it is misguided. It just seems like one of those times of “the person is political.” We are all shaped by our experiences and with such a strong campaign for BF it would be interesting to know if she ever struggled with BF, used formula, etc.

  11. I don't see how Michelle Obama is being coercive or denigrating formula feeders. It's not like she's saying that formula is the tool of the devil and formula feeders are Satan's minions. Rather, she's trying to raise awareness of breastfeeding as a healthy choice, particularly in her own community (as Black mothers are much less likely to breastfeed than their White counterparts). Let's get a grip here.

  12. I think the US trend of really short maternity leave doesn't help in the least. Why bother starting to breastfeed, if you know you'll need to stop when you return to work because setting up a pumping and feeding schedule is actually pretty hard and a lot of the times, it's way more stress than is worth it. (Speaking as someone who tried to EP)

    In Canada we have a year of government paid maternity leave, provided you meet the requirements of course. (Although, the “pay” isn't exactly great, it does help) In the long run that kind of thing would REALLY REALLY help encourage breastfeeding I think.

    If you want more mothers to breastfeed, you need to give them the time to do it.

  13. Anon-
    I think maybe you are missing FFF’s and other's points. It's not that Michelle is trying to raise awareness of BF, it's that she is misleading people to think that BF prevents obesity and/or formula causes it. This, like many other touted “benefits” of BF are not proven by science. Our major issue is that people/media often mis-interpret scientific findings and perpetuate the untruths of BF. I think the majority of us here are all for supporting BF and helping those that want to BF. What we don't support is, just like many BF supporters say, not telling parents the truth no matter how unpopular it may be.

    Just like the Surgeon General’s recent Call to Action is a positive thing w/r/t making it easier for BF mothers to do so. It cites many weak studies and perpetuates weak statistics as “proof.” Many of us would argue those statistics are far from it.
    http://mommadata.blogspot.com/2011/02/surgeon-generals-botches-breastfeeding.html

    May I suggest you be brave enough to read Joan Wolf’s book Is Breast Best?, or peruse Stats.org, to help you understand where we are coming from?

    Your statement of “BF as a healthy choice” implies that formula is an UNHEALTHY choice, no?

    We do have a firm grip on the undercurrents of what many BF advocates would like to see-formula as prescription only. Also, it's not a far stretch to think that, if the current misconception of formula being unhealthy and CAUSES health problems, that the government would start taxing formula, risk adjusting health insurance for formula feeding ect. That is why some feel it’s important to not take this lightly.

  14. Really, there have been many studies showing a significant reduction in ear infections in breastfed babies? Do all of the studies that say that correct for the same confounders and conduct the studies the same way? HOW does breastfeeding reduce ear infections? I would be happy to believe this if someone here can point me to some data that answers my questions.

    As for the obesity/non-BFing link, I agree there's no strong evidence for it and it's obnoxious that the media spreads misinformation, which high profile people like M.Obama repeat.

    I don't understand why the campaign can't be: breastfeed if you want to and it's easy for you! Formula feed if you don't want to or can't! Either way, your children will be fine, assuming you live in a developed country with access to clean water.

    Seriously, we have more important things to worry about in this country than policing how infants are fed in the first year of life. As others have pointed out, nutritional education for the rest of life seems to be lacking in America, especially if obesity is as bad as it's reported to be.

  15. @Amy- my understanding of the ear infection situation is that the bottle (not formula) is a large part of the increase b/t FF and BFer. I would also venture that it's possible that more FFers are in daycare, thus contracting more colds leading to more infections.

    My son didn't have any ear infections until he started daycare (after he was 1 and no longer bottle fed), and then it became a chronic infection and led to tubes.

  16. Brooke–yeah, I thought the daycare would have something to do with it too–but that's a confounding factor. And the way to figure out if it's the bottle or what's in it, is to study children fed breastmilk from a bottle—do they get more ear infections than nursers?

    Sorry you had to deal with tubes, that sucks.

  17. Tubes are the greatest thing that's happened for our son… and our sleep! That would be a great way to try to untangle the bottle or BM issue for ear infections.

    Also, I had an acupuncturist tell me to drip breastmilk into my son's ears after one of his first infections instead of taking him to the doctor. That seemed like a pretty big reach on the healing effects of BM to me.

  18. @Lisa,
    Actually, there is now a big governmental push to make school lunches healthier. I know there was legislation in the works requiring that, I don't know whether it passed or not. So yes, the very unhealthy quality of most school lunches is getting looked at. I agree this is a bigger issue than infant feeding.

  19. I'm shocked FFF to be honest, it's a long time since I read something so misleading and disingenuous as this. You've headed it “a lie” then quoted statements which show an increase; chopped bits out of places to support your claim, but removed them from context and left out a whole lot more very relavant information that didn't.
    I feel sorry for mums who don't look any further than here for their facts, because they WANT to believe you.

  20. Ah yes, the Analytical Armadillo. The one who can't analyze the myriad factors that lead one to give a baby formula. The one who can't countenance that for some people, breast is NOT best. The one who came on FFF's FB page, proclaiming to be a nice, reasonable person, who trashed anyone who uses formula as a sub-par parent, subtly implying that we were all feeding our kids poison. One of those compassionate self-described lactivists who is nothing more than a militant bully in disguise.

    If you're going to trash talk, then please, back it up. Tell us where FFF went wrong. Otherwise, I believe the term you're looking for is “talking smack” and that doesn't work as an “analytical” rebuttal.

  21. Okay, I just saw a reference to the study infant feeding and starting solids on another site and did a quick calculation which made me laugh, so I thought I would share it here. What the study proved about the majority of babies is that 5% of kids are in the top 5% of kids.

    The rates of obesity were:

    Breastfed kids, regardless of when they started solids: 1 in 14, or just over 7%
    Formula-fed kids who started solids between four and six months: 1 in 20, or 5%
    Formula-fed kids who started solids before four months: 1 in 4, or 25%

    Now, they defined “obese” as at or above the 95th percentile on the height/weight charts. So, by definition, one would expect 5% of children to be “obese.” 5% of kids should be in the top 5%, right?

    Well, for breastfed kids and most formula-fed kids, that's what they found. 5-7% of kids were in the top 5%.

    The real issue here is not formula. What is going on with the formula-fed kids who start solids early that is causing a quarter of them to be in the top 5% of weight-for-height? Obviously they are eating more calories than they are burning. But why? My guess (and it's just a guess) is that many are being fed more to encourage them to sleep longer or to calm them down when they are fussy but not necessarily hungry. Maybe they are also being weaned onto a higher calorie diet. Or they are eating a higher calorie diet in general as they get older. My guess (again, just a guess) is that the parents who are going to overfeed their kids are going to start doing it in infancy, and that it just so happens that they're also going to be more likely to formula-feed rather than breastfeed.

  22. For some bizarre reason, I am just coming across this comment now, Jennifer. Thanks so much for clarifying the findings of that study. I would also assume that the link we should be focusing on in regards to this particular study is starting solids too early. And yet, what's weird is that when I was a baby, it was standard to start rice cereal at like a month or even earlier… and we had lower rates of childhood obesity. I think the explanation might be that parents who start solids earlier are more likely to be less aware of health prescriptives (this is taking out reflux babies from the equation, as many of these are told to start rice cereal earlier to keep food down, which would be the very definition of following a medical prescriptive) or maybe don't care about what the authorities say is best for health. And then maybe these parents also carry the same characteristics in terms of things like screen time, lack of exercise, unhealthy foods, etc….?

  23. AA, sorry for the late reply, but I was revisiting this post and realized I never responded. Just wanted to point out that I didn't chop these bits out of context – many of the passages I posted here were the abstracts of the mentioned studies, which are summaries of the findings. And while yes, the meta-study quoted first did show a slight increase, but acknowleged that the evidence was too rife with confounding factors to be taken as anything more than a red flag for further studies. If Kramer himself has debunked this claim, I think it's pretty fair to say that it is a lie that “breastfeeding reduced obesity”. I would not have called it a lie were Obama to say “some studies show that breastfeeding is associated with a lower risk of childhood obesity”. That wouldn't have been a lie. Do you see the difference?

  24. I had to supplement with my daughter because of her weight and the size of my breasts, her latch was really bad and she was losing weight. The doctor wanted me to pump and pump her with a lot of formula but she kept vomiting up the formula. We starting feeding her onlt 2 oz at a time along with continuing to breastfeed and she never got more than 4oz at a time and the whole year she drank formula and breastfed and eventually at 8 months started eating baby foood. I stopped breastfeeding about two months ago a month into my current pregnancy and my daughter is 28 months so well after 2 she’s never had any kind of infections or anything. And I’m black. She weighs a whopping 26.4 lbs now and she has always been small really. I think the issue is bottle fed babies are encouraged to drink more than they actually need which is not the mother’s fault but practitioners who say to give them 8 oz in a single feeding breastfed babies are not getting that much so I’m not sure why bottle fed should be any different. Like I said I am black and me and all my seven sisters were breastfed by a black mother and I have heard people of all races say I am crazy for breastfeeding so long. But stopping for my daughter was a breeze because she is the best baby ever.

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