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International Journal of Nursing Education
Year : 2015, Volume : 7, Issue : 2
First page : ( 244) Last page : ( 249)
Print ISSN : 0974-9349. Online ISSN : 0974-9357.
Article DOI : 10.5958/0974-9357.2015.00113.0

Association between Breast Feeding and Childhood Obesity among School-going Children, 5–16 years of Age in Karachi, Pakistan

Sachwani Saima1, Karmaliani Rozina2, Hirani Shela Akbar Ali3, Khowaja Asif Raza4, Lalwani Erum1

1Senior Instructor, The Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery

2Professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, and Community Health Sciences Department

3Assitant Professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery

4Senior Instructor-Reasearch, Department of Pediatrics, The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

Online published on 17 April, 2015.



Overweight and obesity in children are major risk factors for adult obesity, associated chronic diseases, and premature deaths worldwide. In Pakistan, the rate of overweight and obesity among children is on rapid rise. A substantial body of evidences has suggested breast feeding, as being protective against childhood obesity. However, such an association is neither conclusive in literature nor has it been explored in the Pakistani context.


This study aimed to investigate the association between breast feeding and childhood obesity in school going children, 5–16 years of age in Karachi. Pakistan.


In this study, 528 school going children, aged 5–14 years of age (132 cases and 396 controls) matched on age and gender, were recruited from public and private schools of Karachi.


Conditional logistic regression results showed that being breast fed for less than 12 months [mORadj= 1.96; 95% CI (1.0–3.7)],having a history of not being exclusively breast fed [mORadj= 5.5; 95% CI (2.3–12.9)], exclusively breast fed for less than 3 months [mORadj= 4, 95% CI (2.0–7.8)], and exclusively breast fed for 4–5 months in school going children was [mORadj= 2.6; 95% CI (1.5–4.7)] associated with a higher obesity risk.


Longer duration of breast feeding, and exclusive breast feeds have a protective effect against childhood obesity in a dose-response manner. In Pakistan, future longitudinal studies are urged to confirm this association because of its implications for public health.





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