Baby Led Weaning

Growing healthy babies with healthy appetites

Posts Tagged ‘carbs’

Further to Dr Ellen Townsend’s statement re BLW in the BMJ. Some more info on carbs and breast-feeding.

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

I asked for a wee bit further clarification on the breastfeeding rates – HUGE in both instances, if you look at the peer reviews it says ‘nearly all children in the matched sample were breast-fed (92% in the SpoonFed group, 97% in the Baby-Led group). Indeed, in the whole sample 94.8% of the children had been breast fed’. As you can see I asked if this was a bad thing, as it is unusual, or good because it meant that the study compared like with like.

Here is the reply from Dr Townsend.
“The breast feeding issue is interesting and crucial. On the one hand the fact that there was no difference in breastfeeding status in our matched sample (which we based our preference analyses on) is a good thing – because as you acknowledge that means we have homogeneity between the groups. With the BLW group the high rate is understandable as it is such a natural extension of breastfeeding. With the spoon-fed group – we had a sample who were willing to come to the lab to be tested etc – so again probably not entirely representative at a population level. We do now need to do research now that engages more parents who have used formula/bottle feeding. We do say this at the end of the paper …”In particular, a study is needed that includes a greater proportion of children who have been formula/bottle fed in order to compare the relative impacts of weaning method and milk feeding practices on food preferences and health outcomes in early childhood.””

Likewise the carbs thing, what were they using as their definition of carbohydrates?
And here is the answer.

“With regard to the carbohydrates issue. There are a number of ways we could have categorised/classified the foods in our study. We used typical food pyramid categorization where ‘starchy’ carbs are found at the bottom. Yes – sweets are carbs but of the ‘simple’ rather than ‘complex’ variety.”

Any thoughts?

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A quick statement from Dr Ellen Townsend re BLW in the BMJ

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

I say statement, really I just buzzed her and said ‘givvusitinplainEnglish’… and she is a kind woman so she complied despite this probably being Quite A Busy Day for her. She says;

“We conducted a survey-based study with parents. Some of whom had used traditional spoon feeding and some who had used a baby-led approach. We asked them about their child’s food likes and how often they ate 151 different foods.

We then compared the groups on their liking for foods in the major food categories (carbs, proteins etc). What we found was that children weaned using a BLW approach like carbohydrates more than the spoon fed children. (In fact they liked carbohydrates the most as compared to the spoon fed children who like sweet foods the most.)

This is interesting because carbohydrates form the building blocks of healthy nutrition (being found at the bottom of the food pyramid). We also looked at health outcomes and found that BLW children generally had lower BMI compared to spoon-fed children. There was a small incidence of underweight in the BLW group but a larger incidence of obesity in the spoon fed group.

Carbohydrates are an ideal first finger food – so what we may be seeing here is an ‘age on introduction effect’ where BLW children are exposed to these foods in their whole food format earlier on. In relation to the BMI findings it could be that BLW learn to self regulate their intake because they are given control of the feeding process. We need longitudinal studies now that can tease apart our findings further.”

Tell you what I’m interested in… the breast-feeding rates seem high in both groups. I’m wondering whether that’s a good thing in terms of correlation of samples or whether it throws everything up in the air a bit. Anyway, I’ve asked her and hope that she’ll answer when she gets a minute.

I did ask if we BLWers should be worried by the fact that some of our kids were underweight and the answer came back “Not a big worry – most children in both groups were a healthy weight for their age and gender…”

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BLW in the BMJ – New study says Baby Led Weaning promotes healthy food choices

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

I don’t have a lot of time to digest it all right now so I reckon the best thing to do is give you all the Actual Links to both the University of Nottingham press release and the article in the British Medical Journal.

The press pieces all seem okay so far but seem to be reporting the kids as still having been spoon-fed at 20 months which seems a bit… unlikely. I presume that this is a mis-interpretation of the fact that the parents were looking at what their kids eat after 20 months as by then weaning is well and truly over.

Anyway, as we say to our children faced with a bowl of lasagne, dive in…

Daily Mail from the paper that likes to terrify you with choking stories…

Guardian from the paper that likes to publish Zoe Whatsername saying we’re all loons. ;D

The Australian from the paper that likes to use eighteenth-century weaning terminology.

BBC slight erk at headline…

Press Association aaand here’s what went out on the newswires.

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