Researchers at the American University in Washington along with colleagues at the University of Colorado Denver have found that breastfed kids achieve higher grades in their high school exams.
The study assessed the academic achievement of 191 American sibling pairs, among whom one of whom was breastfed as an infant and the other was not. "The results of our study suggest that the cognitive and health benefits of breastfeeding may lead to important long-run educational benefits for children. But this is just a start. Much work remains to be done to establish a definitive causal link." said Prof Joseph J Sabia of American University.
Using siblings in the study had an added advantage in that factors like parents' intelligence and the family environment were under control. Breastfed siblings had a 12 per cent to 14 per cent higher grade point average in high school as compared with their sibling, who was not breastfed.
"By focusing on differences between siblings, we can rule out the possibility that family-level factors such as socioeconomic status are driving the relationship between having been breastfed and educational attainment," the authors wrote in the latest issue of the Journal of Human Capital.