Breastfeeding offers numerous health benefits to children and women globally. For this reason, international health organizations and American expert groups strongly support this infant feeding behavior. Given the high cost-effectiveness of breastfeeding in the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology support exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months followed by the continuation of breastfeeding until the infant is 1 year old once complementary foods are introduced at around 6 months.
Although the evidence behind breastfeeding recommendations is overall consistent and strong, expert opinion is still divided on whether breastfeeding protects against the risk of childhood obesity or not. Thus, the objectives of this perspective are to (1) analyze the biological plausibility for expecting a causal relationship between breastfeeding and risk protection against childhood obesity, (2) present recent epidemiological evidence, and (3) identify future research areas to answer key remaining questions.
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