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It not a joke!!! It is the truth!!!

Giving people what they want: violence and sloppy eating

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One for Bad Science?
mini me + poo
Hmm, a Press Association story saying breastfeeding has almost no benefits to the baby has been picked up by the Mail and the Telegraph and... with predictable results.

It says the study was published in the January 2010 edition of Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica, a Scandinavian journal, and was a metastudy of the benefits of breastfeeding involving tens of thousands of women overall.

Except that it wasn't. There is one article by Sven Carlsen, but it's about hormone levels in breastfeeding women, involving a study of 181 women. It's not surprising he's interested in this, because he's at the Department of Endocrinology of Trondheim University Hospital.

The source of the PA article appears to be at news-medical.net, which makes it clear that the basic story is the one on hormone levels, but tags on Carlsen's comments about the benefits of breastfeeding at the end.

And it's that which has been picked up. As I am not about to pay to read the journal version, I don't know what studies the comments were about, but they were clearly not the focus of the article - this aspect is not even mentioned in the abstract!

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You'd think they'd have learned from misquoting the Lancet leading to the MMR fiasco. I don't bother reading much news, cos if all the stuff I know is wrong, I can't trust it to be right on stuff I don't know.

The Beeb's reporting seems a little clearer - there seems to be two different studies being talked about, both by the same person. I suspect a badly written press release which bundled the two together, plus the researcher themselves having a bit of an agenda.

Ah, they say the metastudy was published last year. I wonder why it wasn't picked up then, and - deeply cynically - how much Nestle give to his place.

Hmm, wherever he published the 'benefits' results, it wasn't in the same journal. Three articles - Jan 2003, Jan 2004 and Jan 2010 - all with hormonal aspects.

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