Breastfeeding tied to lower diabetes risk

Nov 29, 2010

A study finds breastfeeding may reduce the likelihood of a woman developing diabetes

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Maintaining a good diet and exercise regimen have long been associated with reducing one's chances of developing type 2 diabetes. However, new research from the University of Pittsburgh reveals that breastfeeding may be one more weapon women can use to help avoid diabetes.

"We have seen dramatic increases in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes over the last century," said University of Pittsburgh professor Dr. Eleanor Bimla Schwartz. "Diet and exercise are widely known to impact the risk of type 2 diabetes, but few people realize that breastfeeding also reduces mothers' risk of developing the disease later in life by decreasing maternal belly fat."

The research involved 2,233 women and found those who breastfed their child for at least the first month were half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to those who did not breastfeed or had never given birth.

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