QUB research highlights unexpected benefit of breastfeeding

Queen's University
Queen's University

Adults over 50 who were breastfed as babies went on to have a higher household income in comparison to those who were not, a research study from Queen’s University Belfast has found.

The study examined whether there is an economic benefit associated with breastfeeding by tracking a nationally representative sample of babies born in England, Wales and Scotland in 1958. Around 9,000 participants were tracked from birth to adulthood.

The research team, led by Dr Mark McGovern, lecturer in Economics at Queen’s Management School, found that the adults who were breastfed had a 10 per cent higher household income at age 50, in comparison to those who were not breastfed.

“Promotional campaigns have highlighted the health benefits of breastfeeding in recent years; however, our research shows that in addition to those benefits, breastfeeding may also have a significant economic impact throughout the life course,” Dr McGovern said.