Association of breastfeeding and early exposure to sugar-sweetened beverages with obesity prevalence in offspring born to mothers with and without gestational diabetes mellitus

Pediatr Obes. 2019 Dec;14(12):e12569. doi: 10.1111/ijpo.12569. Epub 2019 Aug 6.


Background: The relationship of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), exclusive breastfeeding (EBF), and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) on obesity prevalence in children has rarely been evaluated.

Objective: This study examined the association of GDM status, EBF, and SSB with obesity prevalence in children (1-5 y).

Methods: Data are from the 2014 Los Angeles County WIC Survey, which included 3707 mothers and their children (1-5 y).

Results: Compared with GDM offspring who were not EBF, GDM offspring who were EBF had lower odds of obesity, as did non-GDM offspring who were and were not EBF. Compared with GDM offspring with high-concurrent SSB intake (>3 servings/d) and no EBF, GDM offspring with high SSB intake and EBF did not have lower odds of obesity, whereas those with GDM, low SSB (≤1 serving/d), and EBF had lower odds of obesity. Using non-GDM, EBF, and low SSB as referent, non-GDM offspring who were not EBF, with either high or low SSB, had approximately a fourfold increase in odds of obesity.

Conclusions: In GDM offspring, EBF is only associated with lower obesity levels if later SSB intake is also low, whereas EBF is protective against obesity in non-GDM offspring regardless of high or low later SSBs intake.

Keywords: exclusive breastfeeding; gestational diabetes mellitus; obesity; sugar-sweetened beverages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes, Gestational* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Sugar-Sweetened Beverages / adverse effects*