Today fivethirtyeight.com (Nate Silver's data analysis website), in the Science and Health section, posted a short article called 'Breastfeeding: can everyone just calm down?' Love the title, by the way, as being calm is something that new moms sometimes aren't. (I sure wasn't always calm, though I tried!)
The article, link to be posted in The Poop on the public website, reviews the various surveys that have strongly shown that breastfeeding is superior to formula feeding. But a careful analysis of those surveys should bring a bit of relief for those folks who aren't able to breast feed at all or for very long, for whatever reason. (Assuming that is, that you have a SAFE non-Flint, non-third world style water supply... sigh.)
This analysis was prompted by a staff member's visit to her midwife's office where she saw a poster that seemed to equate breastfeeding with reducing the incidence of childhood obesity. The article is definitely worth a read, and yes, everyone can just calm down. Breastfeeding does appear to provide some important benefits, and yes, more studies would probably be good, but from what they can see, if you can't breast feed or can't do it for as long as you might wish, nothing terrible will happen. Which is a relief for those of us who face those situations!