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

Last updated: February 20, 2022
The single study in this list that examines this question found that the answer is no. We identified this study as a literature review, which is a type of study that reviews and often evaluates the findings of many studies on a question. Accordingly, we would give more weight to this study, but would also encourage you to read it for yourself if you have access to the full text.

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.

All labels of Literature Reviews and source quality are assigned by State of K. All labels of High Quality Source are assigned based on whether the publication in which the article appeared was ranked as Q1 by Scimago Institutions Rankings. Certain well-regarded think tanks are also given this label.

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
The Lack of Association of Breastfeeding and Myopia in Children and Adolescents: Finding from a School-Based Study and a Meta-Analysis of the Literature
"Background: We aimed to assess the relationship between breastfeeding and myopia in a school-based study in rural China. In addition, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to confirm the association from available observational studies.Materials and Methods: The school-based study of 2,346 grade 7 students (mean age: 13.8 years) was conducted in southwestern part of China. Myopia was defined as spherical equivalent of less than −0.50 diopter and information regarding breastfeeding was ascertained through a questionnaire. We also performed the literature search in three databases (PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials) and reference lists of retrieved studies. Effect estimates were pooled using random-effects models.Results: In our school-based study, the association between breastfeeding and myopia was marginally nonsignificant after adjusting for potential confounders, including gender, body mass index, parental myopia, time for reading and writing after school, and time outdoors (odds ratio = 0.75, 95% confidence interval: 0.55–1.04, p = 0.09). In the meta-analysis of eight studies, no significant association was observed.Conclusion: Current evidence did not support that breastfeeding could reduce the risk of myopia in children and adolescents."
Rong-Kun Wu
2019 Breastfeeding Medicine
Literature Review
High Quality Source