Major increase in diabetes nationwide 1990-1998
CRichards at oshr.org
Tue Aug 29 12:30:46 PDT 2000
Another interesting issue to look at re: diabetes incidence is the impact of
decreased breastfeeding rates in the mid-20th century. This would have
resulted in about a 30-50% increase in rate of infant infections and
allergies, some of which may have impacted the health of the pancreas of
infants who have now reached middle age. There is still controversy over
this link, but it is worth considering as many of breastfeeding's impacts
have the potential to be lifelong.
Breastfeeding is also known to increase IQ -- this can be indirectly linked
to doing 'better' in life and work, which is linked to better health
outcomes. The effect of even 3 IQ points on society as a whole is incredibly
dramatic. Some studies have shown average increases of up to 9 IQ points.
Breastfeeding may also impact fatty acid metabolism, satiety cues, and
weight control although research in these areas is still too hypothetical to
It will be interesting to compare diabetes incidence in adults in Canada vs.
the US in the next 30-50 years -- Canada's rate of breastfeeding has sharply
increased in the last 5-10 years whereas the US's increase has been less
dramatic. In my health region, initiation rates are now 94% and duration
rates are also rising well.
Cathy Richards, BHEc, RDN
Okanagan Similkameen Health Region
crichards at oshr.org
ph: 250-868-7829, fax -7760
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