Friday 31 July 2015


Tomorrow marks the start of Breastfeeding Week. New evidence shows that adults who were breast-fed as babies turn out smarter, better educated and richer. And from Kenya, more good news: exclusive breastfeeding has increased nearly four-fold in the past 12 years.

Breast really is best

FOUR extra points of IQ, an extra year’s education and a significantly enhanced income at the age of 30. Those are the benefits of having been breast-fed, according to a study just published in Lancet Global Health by Bernardo Horta of the Federal University of Pelotas, in Brazil, and his colleagues. Other research has suggested that breast-feeding has beneficial long-term effects. But Dr Horta’s is particularly persuasive because it looks at adults rather than children and teenagers, and because it contradicts the suggestion that social class is a confounding variable, with rich mothers tending to breast-feed more than poor mothers do.
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What Kenya did right

KENYA has seen a remarkable growth in exclusive breastfeeding for children under six months old. In 2003, only 13% of mothers were breastfeeding exclusively. This year, according to the National Demographic and Health Survey, 61% of mothers of children aged less than six months were breastfeeding exclusively.
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