Breast-feeding and diarrheal morbidity

B. M. Popkin, L. Adair, J. S. Akin, R. Black, J. Briscoe, W. Flieger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Scopus citations


This study used a unique longitudinal survey of more than 3000 mother-infant pairs observed from pregnancy through infancy. The sample is representative of infants from the Cebu region of the Philippines. The sequencing of breast-feeding and diarrheal morbidity events was carefully examined in a longitudinal analysis which allowed for the examination of age-specific effects of feeding patterns. Because the work controlled for a wide range of environmental causes of diarrhea, the results can be generalized to other populations with some confidence. The addition to the breast-milk diet of even water, teas, and other nonnutritive liquids doubled or tripled the likelihood of diarrhea. Supplementation of breast-feeding with additional nutritive foods or liquids further increased significantly the risk of diarrhea; most benefits of breast-feeding alone or in combination with nutritive foods/liquids became small during the second half of infancy. Benefits of breast-feeding were slightly greater in urban environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-882
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Philippines
  • breast-feeding
  • diarrheal morbidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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