The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of predominant breast-feeding practices based on the criteria given by the World Health Organization and to identify the association between predominant breast-feeding during infancy and the development of obesity during preschool in South Korean children. This study employed a nonexperimental, retrospective study design. Five hundred and twenty-eight preschool children aged three to six years and their mothers were recruited. Twenty-seven percent of the participants engaged in predominant breast-feeding; on average they fed predominantly breast milk for the first 6.7 months. After adjusting for child and maternal characteristics, children who had mixed feeding were 1.68 times more likely to become obese than those who were predominantly breast-fed. In this study, it was identified that predominant breast-feeding has a positive effect on maintaining healthy body weight in Korean preschoolers. While encouraging predominant breast-feeding is only a part of the solution, it is an effective and important first step toward preventing preschool obesity.
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