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Breastfeeding's Long-Term Benefits Overstated, Based On Flawed Data, Social Science & Wellbeing Reveals


3/3/2014 7:53:23 AM

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The long-term benefits of breastfeeding, such as higher IQ and protection from a variety of diseases, may have been overstated by past research. Although breastfeeding naturally provides the best nutrition to infants, sociologists Cynthia G. Colena and David M. Ramey reported this month in the journal Social Science & Wellbeing that some purported health benefits are based on flawed data. In a study of more than 8,000 American children, the researchers compared life outcomes among siblings as a better look at the effects of breastfeeding, given that so many other variables change from family to family. Past studies had failed to account for a high selection bias in breastfeeding, with “choosier moms” choosing to breastfeed -- along with other healthful and helpful behaviors.

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