The Effect of Predominant Breastfeeding on the Risk of Obesity Among Korean Preschool Children

Wednesday, July 13, 2011: 4:25 PM

Jiyoung Park, BS, RN
Nursing Policy Institute, College of Nursing, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea
Hee Soon Kim, PhD, RN
Department of Family and Child Health Care, College of Nursing, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea
Sang Hui Chu, PhD, RN
Deptartment of Clinical Nursing Science, College of Nursing, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea
Yoonsuk Jekal, PhD
Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Jeju National University, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, South Korea

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to describe the current predominant breastfeeding situation in Korea.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to understand the necessity of predominant breastfeeding to prevent onset of obesity in preschool children.

Purpose: Breastfeeding during the first six months of life is recommended for healthy growth and development. It is especially important as one of the preventive ways to reduce preschool obesity rate. The purpose of the study was 1)to investigate the prevalence of predominant breastfeeding practices based on the infant feeding criteria given by WHO and 2)to identify the association between the predominant breastfeeding during infanthood and the development of obesity during preschool in Korea.

Methods: Five hundred twenty eight preschool children aged 3 to 6 years were recruited from 16 kindergartens in D city, Korea between January and September 2010. Anthropometric measurements including height, weight and %body fat were conducted, and mothers or caregivers of study participants were asked about predominant breastfeeding. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify the association between predominant breastfeeding and the risk of obesity.

Results: Twenty seven percent of the participants engaged in predominant breastfeeding, on average they fed on predominant breast milk for 6.7 months (6.71±1.83 month). After adjusting for participant’s gender, age and gestational age and mother’s BMI, education level, employment, socioeconomic status and weight gain during the pregnancy, predominant breastfeeding was significantly associated with lower risk of obesity in preschool(OR=0.60, 95%CI=0.38-0.93).

Conclusion : The current identified the evidence of the positive effect of predominant breastfeeding on the maintaining healthy body weight in Korean preschooler. Encouraging predominant breastfeeding is only a part of the solution, but it is an easy and important first step to prevent preschool obesity.