Skip to comments.Breast-Feeding, Intelligence Link Probed
Posted on 10/07/2006 6:02:04 PM PDT by Mr. Brightside
October 05, 2006
Breast-Feeding, Intelligence Link Probed
By TARIQ PANJA
LONDON (AP) - Breast-fed children are more intelligent than their bottle-fed counterparts, but this has nothing to do with the content of the milk they receive, a study published in the British Medical Journal said.
For decades scientists have been looking for a correlation between feeding and intelligence, but the report says genetic and environmental factors affect a child's intellect.
Researchers, who analyzed data from more than 5,000 children and 3,000 mothers in the United States, found that mothers who breast-feed tend to be more intelligent, according to a study published Wednesday on the journal's Web site.
"When this fact was taken into account, most of the relationship between breast-feeding and the child's intelligence disappeared," said Jeff Dar, one of the report's authors.
"This research shows that intelligence is determined by factors other than breast-feeding,"
The report won't end the debate about the relationship between intelligence and breast-feeding.
"The problem is trying to show the impact of breast-feeding over and above outside variables," said Mike Woolridge, senior lecturer in infant feeding at the University of Leeds.
He said other studies on the subject have claimed a link to intelligence.
"I fundamentally believe breast-feeding builds a better, more balanced brain in terms of its chemical composition and I'm sure you can measure that in terms of brain performance," Woolridge said.
The researchers found that children who were breast-fed did better on IQ tests, but this was because their mothers were more intelligent, better educated and able to provide a more stimulating home environment.
Part of the research methodology included testing pairs of siblings, for whom feeding habits differed.
"Comparing two people from the same family like this is a good way of getting results that are less affected by family background. This confirmed the earlier results - the breast-fed child was no more intelligent," Dar said.
Dr. Chris Lucas, director of the Early Childhood Service at the New York University Child Study Center, praised the report for taking into account the impact of maternal intelligence on the findings.
"Intelligence is probably one of the most heritable things. Intelligence of a child is very much determined by the intelligence of the parents," he said. "If you don't measure the mother's intelligence, it may appear that there is a link with breast-feeding."
Dar said though his team's study found no link to intelligence, breast-feeding was "definitely the smart thing to do," because of other benefits to both mother and child, including a stronger ability to ward off infections, respiratory illnesses and protection against developing allergies.
It always makes me smarter!!
We are going to need footnotes on this one. It seems way too broad.
Okay, why should we be surprised? Many of these same kids are homeschooled, and parents are heavily involved in juniors developement, more than the fads of clothes, or models of cars, or job promotions.,
Who would have ever thought intelligence was based on your Calvin Kline's? LOL Such crap these studies are and besides that WHO CARES?
I was a bottle baby, Mom would not breastfeed me as an infant. Sure she would show them to me, then take them away. What a tease.
With those you don't need brains!
Back in great-grandma's day, everybody breast-fed except the well to do . . . Mr. Anthony Trollope, an excellent Victorian novelist, made one of his many snide remarks about titled ladies who refused to feed their babies but farmed the job out to a wet nurse who might be drunken or incapable or both.
All that changed around WWII. Bottle feeding became the norm for most. Only the well-educated and/or fairly well to do, who had the time to read magazine articles and join the La Leche League, returned to breast-feeding. Their children had all the other advantages that obtain to the well to do and well-educated - a good start in life, good nutrition, good education, etc. Naturally their IQs would tend to be higher than average.
With the internet now available to almost anybody who can read, you're going to see breast-feeding spreading much more widely, and the income correlation will probably disappear.
My mom was a La Leche League member and a true believer --on the other hand, I breast fed just because it was so darned easy - nothing to sterilize, nothing to mix, and you never forget the container with the milk in it!
Breastfeeding turns me into a total dingbat. Between the hormones and the sleep deprivation and the wonderful smell of baby's head, I'm just so mellow that I hug Democrats.
But you were old enough to drive a car and vote.
I'd wear it.
I am still trying to get my hands around the issue.
Anyone want to raise my IQ a few points?
I don't even bother with the "intelligence" argument for breastfeeding. There are so many other measurable benefits from breastfeeding - stronger immune systems, less frequency of allergies, less likely to be overweight, etc. And the best part - it's free and the diapers are much easier to handle than formula fed babies.
Not that I look down on people who use formula. It's a personal decision for everyone.
I just wish breastfeeding wasn't looked at as almost taboo by so many people. On another forum I use, one woman actually said she didn't want to breastfeed her baby because it was "gross."
Breastfeeding my daughter for 5 1/2 months now.
It happens at work. I can see it a mile away walking down a hallway. I don't understand it.
It's not sad, it's human nature. The Feminazi's have obscured the differences between the sexes to the point that a lot of women seem confused by a mans attention. As long as it's a look and not a pass just shrug it off.