Study: Breast-Feeding Saves Lives, Money

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Don’t let your kid get hooked on the bottle if you can help it.

A new study argues that Americans could save hundreds of lives and billions of dollars if more mothers breast-fed their children. The study, which was published in the medical journal Pediatrics, claims that breast-feeding could prevent asthma, juvenile diabetes and childhood leukemia, among other serious conditions. For these reasons, the study claims that if 90% of American women breast-fed, it could prevent an estimated 900 children from dying each year.

This isn’t the first report illustrating the health benefits of breast feeding, however the monetary aspect is certainly notable. According to the Associated Press, if 90% of women breast-fed, it would also save an estimated $13 billion, based on the costs of treating these childhood diseases as well as the “lost potential lifetime wages” of the children who pass away. Maybe someone should have worked this into our new gigantic health care bill?

While the decision to breast-feed is obviously a deeply personal one, the study provides some compelling reasons to do so. Of course, this could light a larger fire under the already-heated issue of public breast-feeding.

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