The Daily Mail went with:
"Breastfeeding may not help cut allergies in children after all: Study shows bottle-fed babies are equally resistant to host of common conditions"The Telegraph went for a slightly more emotive slant:
"Is this proof the witches of breast milk are wrong after all?Anna appears to be developing a theme (or lacking imagination), as her 2013 piece carried the title: "The witches of breast milk need to back off".
A new study shows breast may not be best in terms of preventing allergies. Anna White, mum of twins, rejoices.".
Personally I think Anna might be "rejoicing" a tad too early.
The tiny study of 200, was presented at a conference and so as of yet I haven't managed to obtain a copy. Thanks to the Daily Mail however, I don't need to.
If you read their entire article via "don't link" it states:
‘This study did not take into consideration whether babies were exclusively breast fed or supplemented with formula."OK.
So as a comparison, let's pretend we want to explore whether salad or pizza are healthiest. One group eats
|Peppers count as salad, right?|
If I then gave you that study and said see, whether you eat salad or pizza makes no difference - would you rejoice? More likely you would simply laugh.
Even if we pretend it's true - there is no suggestion formula proffers protection; at best it's stating formula might not cause harm. I think Anna understands this, as the only other logical conclusion otherwise is she's "rejoicing" because she's glad babies who were breastfed aren't "protected" either?
The truth is this conference bulletin, that we have no context for (either in terms of the rest of the presentation or indeed funding,) tells us absolutely nothing. It certainly isn't "proof" of anything other than bad science.
The "auto-bots at La Leche league", as Anna calls them - or the "fabulous mothers who have often struggled themselves, so now volunteer to give their time they could spend with their own family in order to help others to the the tune of thousands of calls per year", as I prefer to refer to them as, won't need to update their training manual just yet.