Sunday, April 27, 2014

"Is Breast Truly Best" First Reader

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.  

1 comment:

  1. I hold heartily agree with your blog post. In addition to the points that you made, I think that the Time magazine cover sent the wrong message to most mothers. For many, Time magazine is one of the most read magazines and where people get their information. For example, in elementary school we used to have a time dedicated to reading Time magazine and also my parents love reading it and learning about the new things happening in the world. But the problem with our society is that they read it and then they do not investigate themselves.

    What the blog post “Is Breast Truly Best?” points out is that in the Colen and Ramey piece they leave out another piece of information that you did not mention in your blog post. That information is that the Colen and Ramey piece did not talk at all about increased duration of breastfeeding and the effect on children. Many mothers think that long duration of breastfeeding is “protective” and the time magazine cover gets at that having an older boy breastfeeding in the picture. However, the Colen and Ramey piece does not tell us the mean duration of breastfeeding, which is something that plays a long roll in the benefits of breastfeeding. I believe that leaving that out is excluding crucial information in the study.

    Without this information, the people reading the paper have no idea the outside factors that are affecting these women. Are they breastfeeding for a long time? Short time? How many children have they breastfed? All of these questions should have been answered in the study and because the media blew the findings up so big, most mothers just went with what the media said and did not do more research into the actual study. The Colen and Ramey study really just reiterated things that people already knew, it did not add more to society.