Babies who are exclusively breast-fed for at least the first 15 weeks of life have less respiratory illness during childhood. Those children tended to have lower blood pressure and were leaner than those who were started on solid food before four months of age.
The findings add to previous evidence of a link between adult disease and nutritional factors in the womb and during infancy.
As to weight, children who had been given solids before 15weeks were significantly heavier by age 7 than those given solids at 15 weeks or later, the researcher states. They also note that the percentage of body fat was greater among children who were started on solids earlier. British Medical Journal (1998;316:21-25)
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