Do breastfed infants grow up to be taller 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.
*Note that the latest study on this question is over 7 years old. A more recent study may provide a more relevant answer.

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
Effect of Breastfeeding Promotion Interventions on Child Growth: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
"ABSTRACT Aim: To update a previous systematic review and meta-analyses about the effect of breastfeeding promotion interventions on child growth.Methods: Studies evaluating the effect of any type of breastfeeding promotion intervention on child weight, length (or height) and weight/height (or BMI) were screened. Papers published between 2006 and 2014 were checked using the following databases: PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Lilacs and SciELO.Results: Sixteen studies were added to 19 other studies identified in the previous review, resulting in 35 studies. Meta-analyses of studies reporting on mean weight, length, weight/ length or BMI showed that the interventions had no impact on weight or length/height z scores [pooled effect: 0.03 (95% confidence interval: À0.06;0.12) and 0.03 (95% confidence interval: À0.02;0.08), respectively] and had a modest, but significant, reduction in body mass index/weight-for-height z scores [z score mean difference: À0.06 (95% confidence interval: À0.12;0.00)], which was limited to studies from low-and highincomes settings. For all three outcomes, there was important heterogeneity among studies, which should be taken into account when interpreting the results. Conclusion:Breastfeeding promotion interventions were not associated with significant changes in weight or length, but led to a modest, albeit significant, reduction in body mass index/weight-for-height z scores."
Elsa Regina Justo GiuglianiFederal University of Rio Grande do Sul
2015 Acta Paediatrica
Literature Review