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In their willingness to embrace fake news, alternative health advocates are no better than Trump supporters

One of the most bewildering, depressing things about Trump supporters is their willingness to embrace complete lies offered to them as fake news. As The Washington Post notes, despite a disasterous first month of the presidency, filled with huge blunders, outrageous lies, and feuds of his own making, Trump supporters think he is doing a […]

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An open letter to Lucy Martinez Sullivan, Executive Director of 1000 Days

Dear Ms. Martinez Sullivan, Have you lost your mind? What are you doing posting a picture of a dead baby on the Facebook page of the Fed Is Best Foundation? You’re not a random lactivist. I see from your bio that you are the Executive Director of children’s nutrition organization 1000 Days: We believe that […]

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Why safe health choices are viewed as dangerous and dangerous health choices are viewed as safe

What’s the difference between risk assessment and risk perception? This: How extraordinary! The richest, longest-lived, best-protected, most resourceful civilization, with the highest degree of insight into its own technology, is on its way to becoming one of the most frightened. As political scientist Aaron Wildavsky notes, Americans are frightened of health risks. There’s just one […]

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The lactivist lie that causes so many babies to suffer

Lactation consultants and organizations tell new mothers that the average size of a newborn baby’s stomach is only a teaspoon (5 cc). That’s supposed to ease their minds when their newborns are screaming in hunger and they can tell that they are producing very little colostrum or milk. There’s just one problem. It’s not true. […]

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Vaccine refusal is the equivalent of drunk driving

Vaccine refusal stems from ignorance of immunology, so it would make sense that correcting their erroneous beliefs with facts would reduce the incidence of vaccine refusal. Unfortunately, the opposite is what actually happens. Nyhan and colleagues tested a variety of vaccine information interventions and found: None of the interventions increased parental intent to vaccinate a […]

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How dangerous is homebirth? This dangerous.

Last April, in an op-ed in the NYTimes, I explained Why is American homebirth so dangerous?: The problem is that there are two types of midwives in the United States. The first, certified nurse midwives, called C.N.M.s, are perhaps the best-educated, best-trained midwives in the world, exceeding standards set by the International Confederation of Midwives. […]

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Pity The Milk Meg, whose self esteem resides in her breasts

When you frame an issue, you control the discourse. That’s particularly true in politics (Make America Great Again), but it’s also true in healthcare. That’s why lactivists have owned the breastfeeding debate for the last decade or more. Their frame — Breast Is Best — was meant to be the beginning and the end of […]

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Bribe a woman to breastfeed?

Today on Slate, Elissa Strauss asks Paying Low-Income Moms to Breastfeed Might Raise Breastfeeding Rates, But Is It Ethical? For the study, a team of researchers, led by Dr. Yukiko Washio of Christiana Care Health System and the University of Delaware in Newark, divided 36 low-income, Puerto Rican new mothers enrolled in WIC into two […]

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Nevertheless she persisted

Last night Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined a long list of brave, brilliant women who persisted despite being warned not to challenge the status quo. These included Rosa Parks, Marie Curie and Susan B. Anthony. Please share other brave, brilliant women who refused to be silenced. #NeverthelessShePersisted

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President Snowflake

One of the greatest ironies of the train wreck Trump presidency is how conservatives have eagerly embraced previously despised attributes of liberals. After years of decrying political correctness, micro-aggressions and trigger warnings, we now have a president who thinks he is a special snowflake. What’s a special snowflake? According to the LA Times, a special snowflake […]

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