Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mothers who breastfeed 'are at lower risk of diabetes'

Ho hum! It's middle class mothers who are more likely to "do the right thing" and they are healthier anyway

Mothers who do not breastfeed are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes in later life, according to a study. Breastfeeding helps shift fat remaining around the abdomen after pregnancy, one of the factors behind the disorder, say scientists.

They believe that declining rates of breastfeeding in the western world may help explain the explosion in type 2 diabetes among middle-aged women.

Findings from a study of 2,233 women aged 40 to 78 were published yesterday in the American Journal of Medicine.

Dr Eleanor Schwarz, from the University of Pittsburgh, who led the study, said: 'Diet and exercise are widely known to impact the risk of type 2 diabetes. 'But few people realise that breastfeeding also reduces mothers' risk of developing the disease in later life by decreasing maternal belly fat.'

In the study, a quarter of mothers who did not breastfeed developed type 2 diabetes and they were almost twice as likely to get it as women who had breastfed or never given birth. In contrast, women who breastfed all their children were no more likely to develop diabetes than women who remained childless.

The UK has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Europe, with almost one in three new mothers never attempting to breastfeed compared with two per cent in Sweden.

Previous research by the same US team also found breastfeeding could protect mothers against heart attacks and stroke in later life. Just one month of breastfeeding led to 10 per cent lower rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol - all of which contribute to heart disease - compared with women who had never breastfed.

'Our study provides another good reason to encourage women to breastfeed their infants, at last for the infant's first month of life. 'Clinicians need to consider women's pregnancy and lactation history when advising women about their risk for developing type 2 diabetes' added Dr Schwarz.

NHS experts say breastfeeding gives babies all the nutrients they need for the first six months of life. The Department of Health recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life with additional breastfeeding while the baby moves on to solids if the mother wants to.


Dubious Locovore mathematics

On vacation in Massachusetts, I reel from frequent arguments from lefties. (I vacation right between a home owned by the late Howard Zinn and one owned by Joe Sibilia, CEO of CSR Wire). I also rage at the NYTimes, which I unfortunately now have time to read.

It is then such a relief to stumble across a rare bright spot on the Op Ed page, like this one by Stephen Budiansky.

What a joy too when the latest group of silly people, the locavores, have their myths punctured in their own "paper of record."

"[T]he local food movement now threatens to devolve into another one of those self-indulgent — and self-defeating — do-gooder dogmas. Arbitrary rules, without any real scientific basis, are repeated as gospel by “locavores,” celebrity chefs and mainstream environmental organizations...

[I]t is sinful in New York City to buy a tomato grown in a California field because of the energy spent to truck it across the country; it is virtuous to buy one grown in a lavishly heated greenhouse in, say, the Hudson Valley...

One popular and oft-repeated statistic is that it takes 36 (sometimes it’s 97) calories of fossil fuel energy to bring one calorie of iceberg lettuce from California to the East Coast.... It is also an almost complete misrepresentation of reality... Shipping a head of lettuce across the country actually adds next to nothing to the total energy bill.

Eating locally grown produce is a fine thing in many ways. But it is not an end in itself, nor is it a virtue in itself. The relative pittance of our energy budget that we spend on modern farming is one of the wisest energy investments we can make..."


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