On the radio

I was interviewed for the excellent Radio-Canada program on science, known as ‘les années lumières’ recently. The subject was about whether breast feeding is really best for babies. The reason for them doing the story was a recent publication by a sociologist who analyzed a database which included some siblings. Among the siblings, by parental report there were some pairs where one had been breastfed and the other had not. The authors of that study did some analyses to ‘correct’ for other influences on outcome and concluded that breast feeding had no effect. The outcomes they tested included asthma, obesity, child behaviour and some indices of intelligence.

Apart from serious deficiencies in data quality, research design and analysis, the study is only one of a very large number examining the benefits of breast feeding, some others have also examined discordant sibling pairs. There is an excellent systematic review by the US Agency for health care research and quality with the first author being Stanley Ip. A summary of which you can find here. There is also a nice take down of the article in The Huffington Post.

Anyway the interview went fairly well I think, if you want to listen it is here (it is in French) my part starts at about 18 minutes, the link should take you to the start of that specific segment, which is about 15 minutes into the show.

About Keith Barrington

I am a neonatologist and clinical researcher at Sainte Justine University Health Center in Montréal
This entry was posted in Neonatal Research and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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