Association Between Breastfeeding and Child Overweight in Mexico

Ana Paola Campos, Mireya Vilar-Compte, Summer Sherburne Hawkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Globally, the prevalence of child overweight has increased over the past few decades. The largest burden of child overweight is identified among upper-middle-income countries, such as Mexico. Breastfeeding has been identified as one of the key affordable and modifiable maternal health behaviors protecting against child overweight. Objective: To examine the association between breastfeeding and child overweight while sequentially controlling for individual, household, and area factors in Mexican children. Methods: Secondary data analysis using the 2012 Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey which included risk factors for overweight on 2089 children aged 6 to 35 months and analyzed data to estimate fixed- and mixed-effects logistic regression models. Results: Overall, 9.0% of children were overweight and 71.1% of mothers reported any breastfeeding for ≥6 months. We found no evidence for a protective effect of any breastfeeding for ≥6 months on child overweight when compared to children who were never breastfed in the fully adjusted model and across all models (model 4, adjusted odds ratio [AOR] [95% CI] = 0.76 [0.31-1.86]). We identified risk factors for child overweight at the individual and area levels, with maternal obesity and offspring high birthweight being significant in the fully adjusted model and across all models (model 4, AOR [95% CI] = 2.26 [1.32-3.85] and 2.83 [1.44-5.56], correspondingly). Conclusions: Our results suggest shared obesogenic environment influences from which the overweight-obese maternal-child dyads are emerging in Mexican households. More research is needed to better understand these obesogenic environments grounded on the particular contexts among upper-middle-income countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-426
Number of pages13
JournalFood and Nutrition Bulletin
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Mexico
  • breastfeeding
  • child overweight
  • upper-middle-income countries


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