Are breastfed infants less likely to develop diabetes than formula-fed infants?

Last updated: February 20, 2022
The single study in this list that examines this question found that the answer is yes. A single study is often not sufficient to draw a conclusion so we encourage you to refer to this study merely as food for thought.

Chart summary of 1 study examining this question

All answers are assigned by State of K users. The label Couldn't Identify means that State of K was not able to determine whether a study answers the question "yes" or "no". This could be due to several factors. One possibility is that a study found some evidence to indicate that the answer to the question is "yes" and some evidence to indicate that the answer is "no". This often happens when a study uses two or more proxies to study the same phenomenon (i.e. firearm sales figures and self-reported firearm ownership rates as proxies for the prevalence of firearms) and the proxies yield different results when looking for correlations with another phenomenon (i.e. firearm-related deaths). Alternatively, the label may be applied if the phenomenon under study (i.e. whether breast milk improves cognitive function) is true for one group, but not another (i.e. true for girls, but not for boys). Yet another possibility is that a study found there was insufficient evidence to reach a conclusion regarding the question. Finally, the full text or abstract of a study may not have been written clearly or was inaccessible. This would make it difficult to determine how a study answered a question.

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Literature Reviews
Although we recommend you consider all of the studies below, we believe the following study is a literature review, which surveys and evaluates many studies on this question:

Total studies in list: 1
Sorted by publication year
Breastfeeding and Type 2 Diabetes: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
"Purpose of ReviewBreastfeeding has short- and long-term benefits for child health. In this systematic review, we updated a review on the association between breastfeeding and type 2 diabetes.Recent FindingsA meta-analysis published in 2015 reported that breastfeeding protects against type 2 diabetes (pooled odds ratio, 0.65 (95% confidence interval, 0.48; 0.86)). In the present update, we identified three recently published studies. An internet-based study reported that at a mean age of 25.6 years, exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months protected against type 2 diabetes (odds ratio, 0.63 (95% confidence interval, 0.41; 0.95)). In a retrospective cohort, those subjects who had been breastfed before hospital discharge were less likely of presenting diabetes (odds ratio, 0.83 (95% confidence interval, 0.69; 0.99)). In a case-control study, the odds of type 2 diabetes in adolescents was lower for those exclusively breastfed at hospital discharge (odds ratio, 0.52 (95% confidence interval, 0.36; 0.74)). In the meta-analysis, the pooled odds ratio was 0.67 (95% confidence interval, 0.56; 0.80).SummaryThe updated systematic review and meta-analysis suggests that breastfeeding protects from type 2 diabetes."
Bernardo Lessa Horta
2019 Current Diabetes Reports
Literature Review