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Breastfeeding increases upward social mobility.

Breastfeeding boosts a child's chances of climbing the social ladder, a study suggests.

Children born in 1958 and 1970 who had been breastfed were found to be 'consistently more likely' to have climbed the social ladder than those who had not been breastfed.

Researchers suggest the combination of physical contact and the 'most appropriate' nutrients required for growth and brain development plays a part in the better neurocognitive and adult outcomes of breastfed infants.

The social class of almost 17,500 breastfed and non-breastfed children born in 1958 and more than 16,500 children born in 1970 based on the social class of their father when they were 10 or 11--were pitted against their social class as adults, measured when they were 33 or 34.

Social class was categorised on a four-point scale ranging from unskilled/semi-skilled manual to professional/managerial.

The study, published in the Archives of Disease in Childhoodfound 'significantly fewer' children were breastfed in 1970 than in 1958 (68% compared to 36% respectively) and those born in 1970 were 'more likely' to be more upwardly mobile overall.

However, the 'breastfeeding effect' for both groups were the same, increasing the odds of upwards mobility by 24% and reduced the odds of downward mobility by around 20%.

Unite/CPHVA Professional Officer, Dave Munday, said: 'This study gives some further positive statistics on the benefits of breastfeeding. We know our members make a huge impact in this area and we're pleased that they now have even more evidence to back this up in their practice. Nationally, we're involved in further initiatives including Best Beginnings work to introduce smartphone apps, which CEO Alison Baum presented at the recent parenting and family support SIG conference.'

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Title Annotation:NEWS ROUND-UP
Publication:Community Practitioner
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 1, 2013
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