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WINNING AT THE WEIGHT LOSS GAME BEGINS WITH MOM AND BABY

Schaumburg, IL (January, 2003) -- While making weight loss resolutions this January, consider the fact that breastfeeding your baby may be the first and best offense in the battle against obesity. Studies confirm breastfeeding means healthy weight for both mom and baby. Breastfed babies have a lower likelihood of becoming obese as children and mom is more likely to return to pre-pregnancy weight sooner than her bottle-feeding counterparts.


Babies breastfed for three to five months are 33 percent less likely to be obese at age six. Babies who are exclusively breastfed for six months are 43 percent less likely to become obese and babies breastfed for more than one year are 72 percent less likely to become obese. This advantage persists at least into adolescence where it has been shown that adolescents who were breastfed as infants are significantly less likely to be obese.


In addition, some researchers believe that breastfeeding may play a role in preventing obesity in adulthood. Bottle-fed infants had higher concentrations of insulin in their blood, which would be expected to aid in fat deposition. Human milk contains fats and proteins significantly different from those available in artificial infant milk. The proteins in human milk are the correct amount and also are easier to metabolize than the large amount found in artificial infant milk and therefore are not stored to later become fat, thereby decreasing the risk of obesity.


To add to the benefits of breastfeeding in preventing obesity in breastfed infants, breastfeeding also makes it easier for mom to shed the extra pounds put on during pregnancy. Studies show that weight loss from one to 12 months postpartum was significantly greater in breastfeeding than formula-feeding women, due primarily to differences in weight loss from three to six months. In addition to that good news, the weight lost tended to come from the waist and hips of the nursing mother.


For more information on the benefits of breastfeeding and weight loss or for a referral to a local La Leche League Leader, call 1-847-519-7730. Founded in 1956, La Leche League International's mission is to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through support, encouragement, education, and information. Visit our web site at www.lalecheleague.org.

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