Monday, July 12, 2010

CNN Cares About Molly's Teeth

This is one of the stupider things I've read today: A CNN article fawns over a study that recommends that babies transition "off the bottle" at 9 months in order to prevent tooth decay. If you read the article carefully, you will note that the author of the article (Miriam Falco) expands this recommendation to include weaning from breastfeeding, though it is not clear to me whether the study in question makes that claim.

Forget that the WHO recommends that babies continue to breast feed for up to two years (6 months exclusively, then gradually tapering off during the transition to an all-solid diet) and the AAP recommends a full 12 months. These recommendations do not appear in the CNN article, nor does any discussion of infant nutrition. It is solely focused on tooth decay.


It just seems like another example of the trend toward cutting people up into discreet symptoms instead of treating them as whole people. This researcher set out to study tooth decay, found that tooth decay in toddlers is often linked to the way they imbibe fluids, and concludes that pediatricians should change the way toddlers drink. Nutrition is not important because that was not the focus of the study. Then, Miriam Falco at CNN writes a lazy article that does not provide any additional information, lumps in bottles of juice with breastfeeding, and publishes it. Today, 10,000 fretting grandmothers are emailing the story to new parents whose kids are perfectly happy still breastfeeding at 1 year. Hopefully, the parents have the reading comprehension skills to notice how silly this article is.

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