Children who are breast-fed may be more likely to reach a higher social class than their parents, a new study finds.
The researchers looked at about 34,000 people in the U.K., either born in 1958 or in 1970, and compared their social class at the age 33 or 34 with that of their fathers when they were children. Among the study participants, those who had been breast-fed were more likely to have moved up the social hierarchy in adulthood, which the researchers defined as having a job of higher social status than their fathers.
The study found that while breast-feeding increased the chance of moving upward socially by 24 percent, it also reduced the chance of sliding downward by 20 percent.
The results suggest that breast-feeding improved children's neurological development, resulting in better cognitive abilities, which in turn helped them with their upward move in the society, the researchers said.