Breastfed children ‘have fewer behaviour problems at age 5’

10 May 2011

Children who are breastfed for four months or more are less likely to display behaviour problems at age 5, according to a new analysis of Millennium Cohort Study data.

Children who are breastfed for four months or more are less likely to display behaviour problems at age 5, according to a new analysis of Millennium Cohort Study data.

The study, published online by the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, involved just over 10,000 children born in the UK in 2000 and 2001.

The researchers compared information on infant feeding practices gathered by the MCS at age 9 months with the results of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire survey that mothers completed when their children were aged 5.

They concluded that there was a 30 per cent greater risk of behavioural problems among formula-fed children – even after socio-economic factors were taken into account. The study was conducted by researchers at the Universities of Oxford, Essex, York and University College London.

See:

  • BBC News report
  • The full text of Breast feeding and child behaviour in the Millennium Cohort study, by Katriina Heikkila, Amanda Sacker, Yvonne Kelly, Mary J Renfrew and Maria A Quigley, is available to the journal’s subscribers here