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Authors

  1. Spatz, Diane L. PhD, RN-BC, FAAN

Abstract

Preventing obesity starts with breastfeeding. An infant's nutrition at birth affects not only short-term health outcomes but also the health of that person as a child, adolescent, and adult. This article examines major findings that all conclude that any breastfeeding will help protect an infant from obesity and overweight. Research supports that the more exclusive and longer a child is breastfed, the more protection from overweight and obesity is conferred. Mechanisms of action are explored in this article. It is of paramount importance to provide evidence-based lactation support and care to families to improve the incidence, exclusivity, and duration of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is one concrete method to address the obesity epidemic that is growing worldwide.