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Investing in Child Health and Development: The Impact of Breastfeeding on Children's School Performance
LAYTE, RICHARD
There is now strong evidence that breastfed babies are less prone to stomach upsets, ear infections and the coughs and colds of early childhood than their bottle fed peers. There is also a growing body of evidence that breastfeeding may confer more long term benefits for child development. For example, studies have consistently shown that breastfed children score more highly on cognitive and academic performance tests in later life compared with those who were bottle- fed. At first glance the explanation seems simple: breast milk contains nutrients that improve brain development during infancy leading to longer-term gains in cognitive performance. The story may not be so simple however. Research shows that children who are breastfed are more likely to come from more advantaged households, that is, those with higher levels of education, higher income and social class. This means that these children enjoy other economic and environmental advantages and it may well be that it is these factors, not the breast milk itself, that explains the higher ability scores among the breastfed.
Keyword(s): Public Health; Childcare; Breast feeding; Education
Publication Date:
2011
Type: Other
Peer-Reviewed: No
Language(s): English
Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Citation(s): McCrory, Cathal; Layte, Richard, Investing in Child Health and Development: The Impact of Breastfeeding on Children's School Performance, 2011
Publisher(s): ESRI
First Indexed: 2014-05-13 05:41:12 Last Updated: 2014-05-13 05:41:12