This Week In The Bmj

Breast feeding does not increase children's intelligence

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7575.0 (Published 02 November 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:0

Despite its many advantages, breast feeding has little effect on children's intelligence. In a cohort study of 3161 mothers and 5475 children, Der and colleagues (p 945) found that breast feeding was associated with higher IQ in children, but that this effect was almost entirely accounted for by maternal IQ. More intelligent mothers were more likely to breast feed, and maternal IQ was more predictive of feeding choice than mothers' age, education, home environment, and antenatal smoking status, or children's birth weight and birth order.



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