Claiming formula is full of sugar is like claiming abortion causes cancer

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Opponents are clear about one thing; women don’t understand the risks. They aren’t giving informed consent because they aren’t fully informed. Sure, they may be counseled about the major risks, the ones that could kill you, but deaths are rare. The other complications are so much more common. If women only knew of the myriad risks, they’d never choose it in the first place.

Opponents recommend more extensive counseling, preferably counseling that takes place long before the decision needs to be made. They helpfully offer books and websites as well as in person counseling about ALL the risks, not just the ones that doctors deign to mention.

Many lactivists, like many anti-choice activists, believe the ends justify the means.

Inevitably there has been a backlash against the opponents but the opponents claim the high ground with the retort: “Are you saying that there are NO risks?” Everyone knows that there are risks; opponents are providing a valuable service by carefully and extensively counseling women about the risks. Once women know, they will reject the choice.

Think I’m talking about anti-choice advocates who work tirelessly to prevent women from choosing abortion? Think again.

I’m talking about lactation professionals who work tirelessly to prevent women from choosing formula.

Consider the paper I wrote about yesterday. The lead researcher, graduate student Gemma Bridge, claims on The Conversation Some infant formula milks contain more sugar than soda drinks:

Some formula milks have double the sugar per serving than a glass of soda.

But that is a deliberate misrepresentation of what the authors found. Their OWN data shows that NO infant formulas have double the sugar per serving than the average glass of soda.

How did they arrive at their shocking “finding”? They disingenuously included milk drinks marketed to PRE-SCHOOLERS. I reached out to the Bridge on Twitter and she does not deny it.

It’s lie on par with the anti-choice lie that abortion causes cancer.

Tragically, neither lactivists nor anti-choice activists feel constrained by the truth. Reasoning that the ends justify the means, both groups routinely exaggerate and even fabricate “risks.” Seeking, above all else, validation of their personal philosophical beliefs, both groups struggle to convince women who would choose differently that those choices are wrong.

Both groups have zero regard for what happens to women (or babies!) once they make the choice. They care about women up to the moment that they are forced into the “correct” decision; whatever happens afterward to their physical or mental health must simply be endured by the women they have tricked.

Most of us can easily recognize the tactics of anti-choice activists for what they are, mendacious attempts to force women to make approved decisions. We should recognize the tactics of lactivists — including some breastfeeding researchers — for what they are, mendacious attempt to force women to breastfeed or feel guilty if they don’t.

  • Melissa Wickersham

    Breast milk is full of sugar as well. Lactose is a type of sugar.

  • demodocus

    Isn’t breastmilk super sugary, too? I know they’ll consider it “the good kind” but I wonder if you could make milk sugar look like table sugar. Talk about magic sparkles 😉

  • Mel

    Let’s see.

    Since my son was old enough to go off of formula made at 24 calories per ounce instead of 20 cals/oz, we’ve been feeding him two Pediasures a day. My husband and I call it a liquid candy bar fortified with lots of vitamins and minerals.

    When I shop for him, I buy the highest calorie everything I can find.

    He gets a cold and he’s off his feeds for a few days and he gets McDonalds for one meal a day plus a chocolate chip cookie at the other two meals until his energy level is back to normal.

    He’s three now and finally got into the 20th percentile for height and weight.

    I can’t stop people from being obsessed about other people’s parenting choices – but I’m really, really happy I have access to high calorie foods for my kid.

    • fiftyfifty1

      Nice work! One of my colleagues works in a pediatrics specialty clinic focusing on former preemies. She says that they hammer, hammer, hammer the importance of calories because if you don’t get former preemies up onto the normal growth chart by age 3 they are likely to become permanently growth stunted. And it ain’t easy as many former preemies have poor appetites or even frank feeding aversions.

    • rational thinker

      Thats great glad he is growing well after such a rough start.

      • rational thinker

        I have known a lot of parents who demonize everything with calories. They wont even give their 3 year olds white bread because “oh no, calories are bad!”. It really bothers me cause every toddler I have seen who is not allowed pasta or white bread and usually sugar too, always seems to be small for their age and seem to be overly interested in what other people around them are eating.
        People need to realize that children need lots of calories to grow. Calorie intake for adults is different than calorie intake for growing children.

        • Christine O’Hare

          Yes, my 2 yo during a growth spurt can definitely eat more than me some days! Plus she is way more physically active than me on an average day which = more calories burned as well.

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          I have met some fat obsessed people who don’t understand that a low fat diet is NOT for infants or toddlers and can actually affect their brain development.

    • demodocus

      Hooray for Spawn!

      My own 3yo is actually a bit chubby still and I’m trying to teach her how much milk, cheese, and yogurt a day is good for her (since she’ll eat dairy all day long), but she’s at the other end of the spectrum, so she’s got different needs. Her best friend is closer to Spawn, a former preemie and small.