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Magda Hassan
03-10-2009, 01:12 AM
The fact that children can survive being fed powdered milk formula in place of breast milk just shows how amazing the body's ability is in dealing with all that can be thrown at it. It does not prove the superiority of commercial milk formulas.

http://www.theage.com.au/national/si...0309-8tbj.html

'Silence' on risks of baby formula

* Leo Shanahan, Canberra
* March 10, 2009

FORMULA feeding is not being described as a health risk to children because researchers are too scared to do so, according to Australian National University academics.

A new paper from the Centre for Economics Research on Health argues that despite weighty evidence that breast-fed children are less likely to suffer from type 1 diabetes, allergies, infections, die of infant death syndrome or develop certain cancers, researchers are not willing to name formula as a danger in the titles or summaries of studies.

The report's author, Dr Julie Smith, compared the fear to naming formula to the way the evil overlord Voldemort is treated in the Harry Potter novels.

"We looked at the findings of nearly 80 authoritative studies, all of which highlighted that formula-fed babies tend to be at higher risk of poor health than children fed on breast milk," she said.

"Yet the vast majority of these studies did not mention formula feeding in the places that matter most for lasting impressions: headlines and abstracts.

"Rather than naming formula feeding as a significant risk factor, researchers seem to be treating this subject like Voldemort in the Harry Potter novels, as He Who Shall Not Be Named," Dr Smith said.

Dr Smith said despite American Academy of Pediatrics citing stating that breast feeding should always be used over bottle feeding where possible, mothers and doctors were left confused by studies that associated breastfeeding not formula with health problems.

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians advice says breastfeeding is superior to formula with studies showing among other things that breast-fed babies have lower rates of diabetes and obesity, higher IQs and as well as lower breast cancer rate in breast-feeding mothers - but have found the causes remain inconclusive.

Professor Karen Simmer, of the department of Newborn Medicine at the University of Western Australia, who advised the RACP on its policy and is the director of Australia's only human milk bank, said that in developed countries it was hard to label formula a danger. "Now if it were the composition of breast milk itself then we could say formula is bad, but all we know is breast feeding is associated with good things," she said.