Babies who are bottle-fed are quarter more likely to end up obese, research by the World Health Organisation suggests.
The study of almost 30,000 children – the largest of its kind – found breast-feeding had a “protective” effect, reducing the chance of ending up with a weight problem.
Those who were exclusively bottle-fed were 25 per cent more likely to be obese, the research on 16 nations found.
And in some countries, the risk was up to 90 per cent higher, the research presented at the European Congress of Obesity in Glasgow.
If mothers did a mixture of breastfeeding and formula milk, the chance of their children ending up obese was 12 per cent higher than if they only had mother’s milk.
Breastfeeding rates in Britain remain among the lowest in the world.
Around one in ten children in the UK are obese by the age of five.