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Cohort study
Being overweight in infancy predicts overweight in childhood regardless of infant feeding method
  1. Wendy H Oddy
  1. Telethon Kids Institute, Centre for Child Health Research, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Wendy Oddy, Telethon Kids Institute, Centre for Child Health Research, The University of Western Australia, P.O. Box 855, West Perth, WA 6872, Australia; Wendy.Oddy{at}

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Commentary on: van der Willik EM, Vrijkotte TG, Altenburg TM, et al. Exclusively breastfed overweight infants are at the same risk of childhood overweight as formula fed overweight infants. Arch Dis Child 2015;100:932–7.

Implications for practice and research

  • Overweight infants are at risk of being overweight children regardless of feeding method.

  • There are inconsistencies in research findings in relation to whether exclusive breastfeeding protects against overweight throughout childhood.

  • Future research should consider why infants become overweight from birth, and why breastfeeding protects against overweight in some children but not in others.


Children who are overweight is a major problem worldwide.1 A systematic review indicated strong associations between early infant feeding and obesity risk.2 Breastfeeding has been found to protect against childhood overweight in a population cohort study.3 Formula feeding increases fat mass and compared with the body composition of breastfed infants, formula …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed