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September 26, 2001

Breastfeeding and Risk of Overweight—Reply

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;286(12):1448-1450. doi:10.1001/jama.286.12.1447

In Reply: Longitudinal studies with repeated measures over long periods of time, such as the one provided by Dr Poulton and Ms Williams, can be instrumental in examining the influence of early life exposures on chronic diseases of adolescence and adulthood. While imprecise estimates due to a small sample size limit inferences, their data do raise the possibility that the effects of breastfeeding may wax and wane over time. However, why effects of breastfeeding on obesity in adolescents should be stronger than effects in both younger and older individuals is not clear. Larger prospective studies with careful measures of adiposity over the course of life, as well as of infant feeding practices, would be useful to address these and related questions.