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Trends in asthma, allergy and breastfeeding in Australia

Binns, C., James, J. and Lee, M.K. (2013) Trends in asthma, allergy and breastfeeding in Australia. Breastfeeding review, 21 (1). pp. 7-8.

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The incidence of allergy and asthma in children in Australia presents major clinical and public health challenges. The draft Infant Feeding Guidelines of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommend exclusive breastfeeding to around 6 months of age, followed by continued breastfeeding while complementary foods are introduced, as the best way to minimise allergy (NHMRC 2012). However, there has been debate as to whether earlier introduction of solids may be more likely to prevent allergy (Prescott and Nowak-Wegrzyn 2011; Symon and Bammann 2012; Williams and Prentice 2011). Recent statistics released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) show that asthma rates are falling and that exclusive breastfeeding may be increasing, making it more likely that exclusive breastfeeding to 6 months is protecting against asthma, not promoting it.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Chiropractic and Sports Science
Publisher: Australian Breastfeeding Association
Copyright: Australian Breastfeeding Association
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