I am really annoyed by the recently published findings about breastfeeding and obesity. One of the main reasons I decided to breastfeed LONG before Alex was even born was because I wanted to do every. single. thing. I could to prevent him from becoming an obese adult, like both Dave and I are/were. If there is such a thing as an obesity gene (and I truly believe there is), my kids have it. In the battle of nature vs. nurture, I'm doing everything I can to keep nurture on their side.
The report says:
Women who were breastfed for at least a week were about as likely to be overweight or obese as women who were bottle-fed.
The first time I read it, I stopped right there, outraged. One week? You have to be kidding me!
The report then added,
Women who had been breastfed for more than nine months were about as likely to be overweight or obese as women who'd been breastfed for less than a week.
Which is more like it thankyouverymuch.
But still, I'm dismayed and doubtful of the findings, particularly given the way the study was conducted.
In 1989, the women were asked their height and weight and what those measurements were when they were children and at age 18. Then every two years, through 2001, they were asked to update their weight information. The surveyed women were all between 25 and 42 at the time of the 1989 questionnaires, Michels said.
In 2001, the mothers of these women were sent a questionnaire asking if their daughters had been breastfed and for how long.
When possible, researchers checked medical records to confirm what the mothers and daughters recalled but breastfeeding is not routinely documented. Still, the researchers believe the women's recollections of breastfeeding are reliable.
So basically, if the women were between 25 and 42 in 1989 when the study began, then their mothers, who were polled in 2001, were asked to remember what they did 37 to 54 years earlier? We're talking about children born between 1947 and 1964. I don't know about the rest of you, but I can hardly remember what I did last MONTH and my memory only serves to get worse, not better. When I read my old blog posts from when Alex was a baby, I have no recollection of ever writing them. If it wasn't all documented, I'd barely remember his birthday and he's only three and a half.
So I'm a skeptic. I'm also a little sad because I'd rather see the scientific community focus on encouraging women to breastfeed longer, not supplying more (questionable) evidence that it might not be so beneficial after all.