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Breastfeeding Helps Fight Obesity

26 July 2006

Breastfeeding Helps Fight Obesity

Artificial baby milks, premature introduction of solids, premature weaning and nutritionally inadequate weaning foods expose children to increased risks of obesity and diabetes.

This was the key message that La Leche League gave today to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.

New growth standards, recently released from the World Health Organization, show that the growth charts currently used in NZ are fundamentally flawed. Use of the NZ charts leads to overweight in children being under-diagnosed and normally- growing breastfed children being misdiagnosed as growing inadequately. This is contributing to the obesity epidemic.

The World Health Organization says that the current obesity epidemic in many countries would have been detectable earlier had the Standards been available twenty years ago.

La Leche League urged the Committee to halt the widespread marketing of formula, and replace it with an imaginative social marketing campaign to 'sell' breastfeeding as possible, desirable and acceptable through to toddlerhood and beyond.

ENDS

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