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Breast-Feeding Linked to Increased Strength in Teens

Longer duration of breast-feeding correlates with increased explosive lower-body strength in teens

TUESDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Breast-feeding duration may play a role in determining adolescent lower-body explosive strength, according to a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

Enrique G. Artero, M.D., from the University of Granada in Spain, and colleagues examined data from 2,567 12.5-to-17.5-year-old adolescents from a cross-sectional study. Details of breast-feeding duration were obtained retroactively from parents. Physical fitness was assessed by the 20-meter shuttle-run, handgrip-strength, and standing long-jump tests.

The investigators found that longer breast-feeding (any or exclusive) was associated with an increased performance in the standing long-jump test regardless of fat mass, fat-free mass, or other potential confounders. Adolescents who had been breast-fed for either three to five months, or six months or more had a reduced risk of having a standing long jump in the fifth percentile, compared to those who were never breast-fed (odds ratios, 0.54 and 0.40, respectively).

"We found a positive association between breast-feeding duration and lower-body explosive strength during adolescence. These findings suggest a role of early infant feeding patterns in determining muscular fitness later in life, supporting the continued promotion of breast-feeding," the authors write.

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