Nutritional demands during the first year of life are greater than at any other time. During this period, a healthy newborn triples its birth weight and doubles its length and the size of its brain. The benefits of breast feeding during this critical period of development, even in the most privileged environments, are undisputable. Consequently, there are also measurable risks for those infants not breast fed, which include increases in diarrhea, acute respiratory infections, and otitis media and short- and long-term deficits in intellectual development. Not breast feeding may also be associated with increased risk of some chronic diseases and obesity, although the evidence for these relationships is still accumulating. Not breast feeding may also be associated with increased risk of some chronic diseases. In developing countries, the risks of not breast-feeding are magnified many times over and also include increased mortality. Because of these benefits, breast feeding should be promoted as a cultural and behavioral norm rather than as interchangeable with formula feeding.
Lutter, C. (2005). Breast Feeding. In B. Caballero (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Human Nutrition (2 ed., pp. 232-238). Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/B0-12-226694-3/00178-2