January 21, 2011 4:32 pm

Type 1 Diabetes Prevention

This article is driving me nuts.

It talks about “special infant formula” that “may protect against Type 1 Diabetes” even though they are not sure exactly how the highly hydrolyzed proteins in that special formula actually help.

I object to the complete omission of the fact that breastfeeding protects against Type 1 Diabetes (among other things), and that protection is improved the longer you breastfeed. The conclusion of the study (above link) was that “longer exclusive and total breastfeeding appears as an independent protective factor against type 1 diabetes.”

You’d think the diabetes article might have mentioned this. Especially since it’s more natural and, from the sounds of it, more effective.

Instead, they offer this:

“Based on the current results, we think that it is justified to recommend weaning to a highly hydrolyzed formula for babies in families with a member affected by type 1 diabetes.”

…which makes it sound like they recommend stopping breastfeeding in favor of the “special” formula if a family member has type 1 diabetes. They also use the phrase “…feeding your baby a special formula when weaning off breastfeeding…” which seems to entirely omit the option of nursing your baby long enough that they don’t require formula when weaning and can go straight to real food and (possibly) cow’s milk.

I find the whole article very obnoxious.

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3 Comments

  • Katherine says:

    Have you given Jem’s blog a lookie-loo? Marketing campaigns outright lying/omitting/using fear tactics to get mothers to not breastfeed their children in favor of formula is nothing new unfortunately. :dep:

    There is no money to be made from women breastfeeding their children, so formula making companies use scare tactics and “if you love your baby” taglines in order to get women to stop breastfeeding and hop on the “Feed your baby formula” train.

  • Meggan says:

    Oh, of course! I’m well aware of their marketing tactics. That’s partially why I wrote this – it seemed so weird to me that a diabetes website of all things would write an article so heavily promoting formula while not mentioning that breastfeeding does the same thing!

  • Jem says:

    AAARGGH. This reminds me of this page I’ve just seen
    http://kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/emergencies/vomit.html

    Isabel has a tummy bug and is being sick. I’m not concerned because she’s taking in plenty of breast milk, is not showing signs of dehydration/etc. I did a quick google search to see how long I can give it before taking her to the docs and that’s the top result.

    Note a) the assumption first and foremost that the vomiting infant is formula fed, b) the incorrect breastfeeding advice that follows and c) no mention of breastfeeding in the 6-12mo category (let alone 12mo+!).

    And people wonder why we struggle to increase exclusive BFing rates…