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Does breast-feeding reduce offspring junk food consumption during childhood? Examinations by socio-economic status and race/ethnicity

  • Dylan B Jackson (a1) and Kecia R Johnson (a2)

To examine whether breast-feeding duration and socio-economic status (SES) interact to predict junk food consumption among offspring and whether the interaction differs across racial/ethnic groups.


Survey research using a longitudinal panel design. Hierarchical linear regression was used to analyse the data.


In-home interviews with the child’s parents over a 5-year period across the USA.


Approximately 10 000 American children from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study: Birth Cohort (ECLS-B).


The findings revealed that longer breast-feeding durations correspond to lower levels of junk food consumption, but that this relationship emerges consistently only among low-SES blacks.


Efforts to promote breast-feeding among low-SES black women may have the added benefit of reducing their children’s junk food intake, and may thereby promote their general health and well-being. Future research should seek to explore the mechanisms by which breast-feeding might benefit the dietary habits of low-SES black children.

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