Posts Tagged ‘breastfeeding’

Correlation, Causality, Breastfeeding, and Obesity

June 12, 2020 — The distinction between correlation and causality is basic to any serious scientist. But in PLOS Genetics yesterday, scientists toss it out the window. Yanyan Wu et al found an association between breastfeeding and obesity. Then they lept to claim cause and effect. Right up front in their title, they make the bold claim. “Exclusive breastfeeding […]

Breast Is Best, But Does It Prevent Obesity?

May 1, 2019 — The World Health Organization is doing some great work on obesity in the European Region. For instance, they just published an outstanding new report at ECO2019 on the prevalence of severe childhood obesity in 21 countries. Unfortunately, though, they buried it in a press release that falsely promotes breastfeeding as a proven effective strategy to […]

Of Course Breastfeeding Is a Political Issue

July 10, 2018 — This should not surprise us. Political squabblers have seized upon breastfeeding as a partisan issue. Over the weekend, the New York Times reported: A resolution to encourage breast-feeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly. […]

Bad Assumptions About Feeding Infants and Obesity Risk

March 4, 2018 — Will the perfect approach to feeding infants cut their risk of obesity? Perhaps. But if someone tells you they know that perfect approach, be careful. Evidence for such suppositions doesn’t yet exist. Infant-Led Weaning? One supposition has long been that Baby-Led Introduction to Solids (BLISS) would lead to a longer duration of breastfeeding and a […]

Can We Have a Little Middle Ground on Nutrition?

August 10, 2015 — Middle ground on nutrition is hard to find. Disciples of various nutritional dogmas make it scarce. There’s no scarcity of nutrition causes for people to argue and two of them are in the news this week: breastfeeding and the Paleo Diet®. National Breastfeeding Week is just behind us and hopefully the phenomenon of shaming mothers who are unsuccessful will […]

Half-Baked Advice for Mothers

June 13, 2015 — A certain amount of half-baked advice for mothers is being offered in the name of preventing childhood obesity. Two recent publications bring two examples into sharp focus: breastfeeding and Caesarean births. In JAMA Pediatrics this week, Lisa Smithers and colleagues reviewed evidence for an effect of breastfeeding on obesity and intelligence. She notes claims for […]

In the Breastfeeding War, Objectivity Suffers

May 30, 2015 — The passions of the breastfeeding war continue to spill into scientific publications. Another in a long line of publications documenting an association between breastfeeding and lower adiposity appeared this week in the Journal of Nutrition. The authors concluded: These data confirm the importance of exclusive BF and prolonged BF for later cardiometabolic health. But in fact, that’s […]

Heresy: Breastfeeding Doesn’t Prevent Childhood Obesity?

April 13, 2015 — A review of breastfeeding’s effect on childhood obesity rates caused a bit of a stir this week because its authors uttered a heresy: The concept of promotion of breastfeeding as a front-line strategy for the primordial prevention of obesity is not supported by the literature. This conclusion is not news to anyone who has been carefully following […]

5 Questionable Obesity Causes

May 19, 2014 — The list of potential obesity causes seems to grow like kudzu. Why? Well, obesity develops slowly and improves slowly, if at all. Epidemiological studies provide ever more information about associations and some of these analyses are repeated so often that otherwise smart people start equating the link to a causal relationship. Familiarity bias exerts even […]