By: Rebecca Kubenk IBCLC
The prevalence of overweight and obesity in Australia has been increasing significantly over the last two decades.
Data from the 2004–2005 National Health Survey indicate that nearly half of all Australian adults (based on self-reported height and weight) were overweight or obese in 2004– 2005: around 7.4 million adults were overweight or obese (over 1/3 of these were obese)
3 in 10 Australian children and adolescents were overweight or Obese
BMI > 18-25 is classified as normal body weight
BMI > 25-30 is classified as overweight
BMI > 30 is classified as obese
How can breastfeeding help
Studies suggest that breastfeeding helps to "programme" children not to be obese.
Obesity while in childhood is known to be a risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease in later life.
For every month of breastfeeding up to nine months will reduce the risk of obesity among children by 4%. The persistence in breastfeeding has significant health benefits for your child and is well worth the effort.
Artificial baby milk (ABM) has increased levels of protein which may stimulate the production of insulin in an unhealthy way.
ABM also increases the concentration of insulin in their blood and prolongs insulin response. Human milk also helps the baby develop the biological response to regulate metabolism, important in regulating weight gain over the years.
Breastfed infants learn to control the amount of human milk and calories they consume better than ABM fed infants, who are often forced to continue feeding and finish a bottle after they are satisfied.
Energy-dense ABM 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 ABM fed babies (Hediger et al. 2001).