Not breastfeeding causes weaker lungs & more asthma
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|Wed, 02-15-2012 - 12:05pm|
The title of the article was actually "breastfeeding strengthens babies' lungs and could reduce risk of developing asthma later in life." But that title is false, since breastfeeding is the biological norm.
It does not mean babies are born with a high asthma risk and each month of breastfeeding reduces that risk. It also gives a false belief that non breastfed children have a "normal risk" compared to those breastfed a magic elixir that "reduces" risks of disease.
Analyzing the information content of 78 titles and abstracts for key studies on the health benefits of breastfeeding were interesting:
• Only 4 - 6 percent refer to infant formula in the title, for example, ‘Differences in morbidity between breastfed and formula-fed infants’, ‘Cow’s milk exposure and type I diabetes mellitus’
• 63 - 67 per cent had only a neutral statement in the title, or referred to the protection conferred by breastfeeding, reinforcing the cultural norm of breastfeeding as ideal rather than usual or ordinary
• 29 - 36 per cent misleadingly associated breastfeeding with illness or disease, through statements implying guilt through association, such as ‘Breastfeeding and risk of post neonatal death in the United States’, “Breastfeeding and the sudden infant death syndrome’.
• 16 - 22 per cent compare breastfeeding to artificial feeding with conclusions couched in terms of the ‘advantages’ of breastfeeding
• 72 - 74 per cent make no mention of artificial infant formula, and would not challenge a reader’s erroneous belief or assumption that artificial feeding carries no increased health risks for infants
If exclusive breastfeeding should be the norm against which other methods are measured, breastfeeding would not be ‘protective’ and breastfed infants would not enjoy ‘lower risks of ill health’; they would instead be referred to as ‘normal’, while formula fed infants are in fact ‘exposed’ to increased risk of poor health and development.