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Breast-Feeding and Diarrheal Morbidity – Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey

Breast-Feeding and Diarrheal Morbidity


Popkin, Barry M.; Adair, Linda S.; Akin, John S.; Black, Robert E.; Briscoe, John; & Flieger, Wilhelm (1990). Breast-Feeding and Diarrheal Morbidity. Pediatrics, 86(6), 874-882.


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.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title



Popkin, Barry M.
Adair, Linda S.
Akin, John S.
Black, Robert E.
Briscoe, John
Flieger, Wilhelm