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celine cabas A mother breastfeeds at a breastfeeding support group in this file photo from 2011. (Linda Stetler) It's a topic people are passionate about. And a new study suggesting the benefits of breastfeeding are overstated is sure to generate heat. compared siblings who were fed differently during infancy. The study looked at about 2,000 children in pairs where one got breast milk and the other got the bottle. The study found that breastfeeding may be no more beneficial than bottle-feeding for 10 of 11 health outcomes in children age 4 to 14 I m not saying breast-feeding is not beneficial, especially for boosting nutrition and immunity in newborns, said Cynthia Colen, assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State and lead author of the study. But if we really want to improve maternal and child health in this country, let s also focus on things that can really do that in the long term like subsidized day care, better maternity leave policies and more employment opportunities for low-income mothers that pay a living wage, for example. Dr. Jesanna Cooper, who was instrumental in doesn't think much of the study. "This study is very small and based on maternal recall which is, empirically, the weakest type of data," said Cooper, an OB/GYN at and Simon Williamson Clinic. She said the study's endpoints, including hyperactivity and obesity, are not the benchmarks generally cited when discussing detrimental effects of artificial milk. And it doesn't address significant risks to children who are fed formula, she said. The study, in Cooper's estimation also falls short because it "fails to address the risks formula feeding poses to the mother -- higher risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, CAD [coronary artery disease] and stroke." "Breastfeeding is glaringly absent from awareness campaigns regarding these women's health issues as well as from discussions regarding infant mortality," Cooper said in an email. "It is hard to 'overstate benefits' when you are not part of the discussion." It's not the first time that breastfeeding has been accused of being hyped. aid the notion that breastfeeding protects the baby against future obesity is a "myth." At the time of publication in the New England Journal of Medicine of "Myths, Presumptions, and Facts about Obesity," author and UAB public health scientist David Allison said that breastfeeding is good, and its health benefits are well established -- it just doesn't have an effect on obesity. Related: