Breastfed babies are likely to become better adults than their bottle-fed peers, according to a new British study.

Breast milk is the primary source of nutrition for newborns before they are able to eat solid food and digest a wider variety of food. It is already known as the perfect source of nutrition for infants.

Now the study by Richard Martin and other researchers at the University of Bristol in England found that babies who are breastfed are more likely to move up the social ladder as better educated and more upwardly mobile adults than bottle-fed babies, reported the online edition of health magazine WebMD.

The study that began in 1937 tracked 1,414 British children into late adulthood. It showed that breastfed infants were more likely to complete secondary school, with 27 percent of breastfed versus 20 percent of bottle-fed graduating.

Breastfed babies were also more likely to move up in social class, based on occupation. Fifty-eight percent of breastfed infants moved up, compared with 50 percent of bottle-fed ones, the study shows.

Fifty percent of bottle-fed infants stayed in the same social class or went downward, while only 42 percent of the breast-fed infants stayed the same or moved down.

The longer a child was breastfed, the more likely he or she was to be upwardly mobile, said the study published online ahead of print in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Other studies have shown that breastfed infants enjoy a host of health-related benefits, including lower risk of infections and protection against chronic diseases and psychiatric disorders.

Via Web India