N Touch
Tuesday 23 October 2018
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Letters to the Editor

Breastfed vs obese children

THE EDITOR: Some medical professionals choose not to emphasise the importance to the lifelong good health of breastfeeding. Doctors, nurses, dieticians and nutritionists can be among these people. I don’t know why, although I have heard various explanations offered.

It has been demonstrated beyond doubt that an infant who is exclusively breastfed for its first six months (and who continues to have breast milk along with family foods for months after) will be a healthy child free of colds, earaches, rashes and other ailments that cause infant and parent to spend time at the health centre or even the hospital.

Thus, I found it strange that in an article in a daily no mention was made of breastfeeding. The most important and most effective way to prevent a child from becoming obese is to ensure he/she is breastfed.

Besides avoiding the habit of ingesting more calories than are needed and probably the lifelong habit of overeating, a breastfed child’s parents who are conscious of the importance of breastfeeding are going to be conscious of good childhood nutrition too.

An overweight toddler is likely to be an overweight adolescent and, obviously, an overweight adult. Freedom from this burden begins at birth, not at a camp during the school holidays.

ARLENE BLADE

retired breasfeeding counsellor

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