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.”