Study: Breast-fed children are less likely to develop ADHD

Jul 24, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. ET

A new study from Tel Aviv University found that children who were breast-fed as infants are less likely to suffer from ADHD.

Mom breastfeeding baby

Does breast-feeding a child as an infant affect her behavior in the future? Yes, according to Tel Aviv University's Dr. Aviva Mimouni-Bloch.

Dr. Mimouni-Bloch and other researchers found that children who were breast-fed as infants are significantly less likely to experience ADHD. The study compared the breast-feeding histories of children ages 6 to 12 at Schneider Children's Medical Center in Israel. The children were split into three groups: children with ADHD, siblings of children with ADHD, and a control group of children without ADHD.

The key findings

  • Children who were not breast-fed during their first year of life were more likely to have ADHD than children who were breast-fed during the first year.
  • Only 43 percent of children in the ADHD group had still been breast-fed at 3 months, while 73 percent of the children in the control group had still been breast-fed at 3 months.
  • At 6 months, 29 percent of the ADHD group had still been breast-fed, compared to 57 percent of the control group.

Dr. Mimouni-Bloch now wants to conduct another study that focuses on high-risk children and their development over the years to get more conclusive data.

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