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: -0.06;0.12) and 0.03 (95% confidence interval: -0.02;0.08), respectively] and had a modest, but significant, reduction in body mass index/weight-for-height z scores [z score mean difference: -0.06 (95% confidence interval: -0.12;0.00)], which was limited to studies from low- and high-incomes 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.