Colen and Ramey’s study focused on whether or not breast-feeding has an effect on obesity, asthma, BMI, parental attachment, hyperactivity, and behavioral compliance on children in the United States. They looked at sibling pairs in which one sibling was breastfed and the other was given formula milk. What they found was that there wasn’t any protective effect of breastfeeding on any of the issues, which caused a media frenzy, even though their findings weren’t anything new. There had been studies in the past that had the same conclusions but Cohen and Ramey’s study caused such a media hype because of the way it was portrayed to the public, in which mothers could basically criticize each other on whether or not one breastfeeds their child or for how long they breastfed their child. Colen and Ramey made it seem as if there are no extra benefits of using breast milk versus regular formula milk, which is far from the truth. They failed to look at many early factors that are also very important such as the whether or not the mother was on paid maternity leave or the quality of day care that could have also influenced their findings .
What I personally didn’t like about the Colen and Ramey study is that they completely ignored the benefits of breast milk and instead focused its effects on asthma, which had already been shown in the past that there were no protective effects on it. Breast milk has been evolving along with humans, and I think there needs to be more studies done on the components in breast milk that influence immune function, metabolism, infant growth, infectious disease risk, and physiological, emotional, and cognitive development.