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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Do you always believe in the news?

Breastfeeding Benefits

About 2 weeks ago, I came across an article claiming that the breastfeeding benefits are greatly exaggerated. Specifically, the article states that Dr. Michael Kramer, a pediatrician who has advised UNICEF and WHO believes that breastfed babies are healthier because their mothers follow a healthier lifestyle and not because of the benefits they get from breastfeeding which are "oversold".

Then, about a week ago, Dr. Kramer talked to another newspaper and said that the press twisted his words! What he actually said was: "The existing evidence suggests that breastfeeding may protect against the risk of leukaemia, lymphoma, inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes, heart disease and blood pressure." He further stated that there was a need for "more and better studies to pursue these links." I have to agree that this certainly doesn't mean that the benefits are exaggerated! Sometimes, words need to be twisted to sensationalize the news. Maybe the writers recognized how The Atlantic article stirred up controversy and hoped to create a similar frenzy with this article.

Organic Food

Last week, my sister-in-law forwarded an article stating that organic food had no nutritional or health benefits over ordinary food. According to the study, "no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority." I shared this article with Judy one of my mom-friends who succinctly commented:

"Who are they trying to convince? 2 year olds? I don't like toxic chemicals in my food period! Since when did food laden with pesticides and other nasty stuff become equally healthy to food without them? In what planet does that make sense?"

Several articles have lambasted the study and Dr. Alan Dangour, the scientist behind the study, has been reported to be a current victim of a hate campaign.

I try to include organic food in our diet regularly but have difficulty in finding it readily available. For instance, my regular organic vegetable delivery guy, Shino, told me that his harvest for this month is insufficient because of the rains and he is unable to deliver. So back to the regular grocery for my vegetable purchases.

I tend to believe that nutrients will be the same whether you are buying an organic carrot or not à a carrot is a carrot. But, like Judy, I am more concerned with the chemicals that non-organic produce get into contact with. So hopefully, next month, we’ll be back to our organic veggie stocks again.

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