Exclusive breast-feeding for a full six months may ironically improve our children’s taste for vegetables, whereas children fed formula grow up with increased rates of inflammatory diseases such as asthma, cancer, and diabetes.
Images thanks to: bradleygee.
For those of us starting new families, one of the myriad concerns that comes up is how am I ever going to get my child to eat their veggies. And one answer, just discovered, is, ironically, to exclusively breast feed as long as possible, apparently doubling the likelihood that they’ll end up eating twice as many vegetables when they grow older. How could that be?
The researchers suggest that “breastfed babies, whose mothers regularly eat a variety of foods, are exposed to a diversity of flavors that are absent from formula milk and this early exposure augments the acceptance of various flavors.” So when they eventually eat some bitter broccoli instead of spitting it out they’re subconsciousl1y like, hey, I remember this.
This could help explain these findings summarized last year, suggesting that the longer babies are breast fed, the lower their risk of developing chronic diseases when then grow up. Babies fed formula grow up to have higher rates of obesity, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, asthma, twice the risk of developing celiac disease, more inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, and childhood cancers including leukemia.
They suggest a variety of mechanisms—stuff babies are getting too much of on formula, stuff they’re getting too little of, leading to changes in their gut flora, hormonal and immune systems, which can set them up for problems later on.
The new Surgeon General's report, agrees with the official World Health Organization recommendation, which agrees with the best available science, that all women in the world exclusively breastfeed for a full 6 months. Whether your own milk, a wet nurse, or a milk bank there is simply no good substitute. It’s the only formula for optimum health.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Kerry Skinner.
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Other tips on raising healthy children can be found in videos such as Nerves of Mercury, Preventing Childhood Allergies, and Dairy & Sexual Precocity. Unfortunately parents tend to overestimate the quality of their children's diets. For advice on how to best raise our children, one can't beat the advice offered by the most esteemed pediatrician of all time, Dr. Benjamin Spock. Check out Dr. Spock’s advice in Doctors' Nutritional Ignorance.
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