Breastfeeding has long been known to be an important way mothers can help keep infants healthy. For example, according to the American College of Pediatrics, breastfeeding slashes the rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) during the first year of life (http://www.naturalnews.com/026239_S…) and it also reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes, leukemia, lymphomas and asthma in older children.
Now there’s another benefit to add to the list, this time for teens. A new study by American University (AU) professor Joseph Sabia and University of Colorado Denver professor Daniel Rees concludes breastfeeding leads to better academic achievement in high school and an increased likelihood of attending college.
The research, just published in the Journal of Human Capital, used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to investigate the academic achievement of siblings, one of whom was breastfed as a baby and one of whom was bottle-fed with formula. In all, Dr. Sabia and Dr. Rees studied the breastfeeding histories and high school grades of 126 siblings from 59 families. They also assessed information on high school completion and college attendance data obtained from 191 siblings belonging to 90 families.
This is the first research to use data about brothers and sisters in order to study the effect of breastfeeding on high school completion and college. What’s more, because the scientists were comparing the academic achievements of youngsters in the same family, the study was able to account for the influence of usually very difficult-to-measure influences, such as maternal intelligence and the quality of the home environment.
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