Breastfed kids enjoy greater social mobility than bottle-fed children
Press release issued: 14 February 2007
Children who are breastfed climb higher up the social ladder than bottle-fed children according to a large, long term study by Dr Richard Martin of Bristol University and colleagues, published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.
Breastfed kids climb higher up the social ladder than bottle-fed children, reveals a large, long term study by Dr Richard Martin at Bristol University's Department of Social Medicine and colleagues, published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.
Over 3,000 children from 16 rural and urban areas across England and Scotland were monitored from birth, as part of the Boyd Orr Study of Diet and Health in Pre-War Britain (1937-1939).
The study results are based on 1,414 people in their 60s and 70s, for whom information on breastfeeding in infancy and changes in social class was available.
The prevalence of breastfeeding varied from 45 per cent to 85 per cent, but was not dependent on household income, expenditure on food, number of siblings, birth order, or social class in childhood.
But those who had been breastfed as babies were 41 per cent more likely to move up the social ladder as adults than those who had been bottle fed.
The longer a child was breastfed, the greater were their chances of upward mobility, the results showed.
The authors suggest that the findings might be explained by the potential benefits of breastfeeding on brain development, which might then lead to better exam and job prospects, and greater earning potential.
But other as yet unknown social and economic factors associated with breastfeeding may explain the findings, they say.