FAT PROFITS AND MUMMY GUILT
As a mother, you just can’t win.
Eat a piece of ham while you’re pregnant and you’ll get listeria. Put the baby on the bottle and you’re close to committing child abuse. Now if you have a caesarean, your baby is at risk of obesity.
Except it’s all bunkum.
This is a tale of a Big Food company guilting mothers into buying probiotics, and the paediatrician who’s along for the ride.
Yesterday, Fairfax published a preview of a paper to be presented in Sydney today by Finnish paediatrician Erika Isolauri. The headline screamed, “C-section Babies at Higher Risk of Obesity“.
According to Professor Isolauri, babies who are exposed to protective bacteria in the birth canal can maintain a healthier weight later in life.
I can hear the howls of the self-righteous: “That’ll teach those selfish mothers, too posh to push. Serves ‘em right!”
But for most of the one-in-three Australian women who have a caesarean, it’s not a choice.
I had a rare condition called Complete Placenta Previa. Prior to the advent of the C-section, it was one of the main reasons for death during childbirth.
Had I opted for a natural delivery, we both would have bled to death.
If I have predisposed Taj to a lifetime of obesity, so be it. Except, I haven’t.
Professor Isolauri’s research focuses on good bacteria, not bad food, in a child’s gut. Let’s start with the bad food.
The Professor has travelled the world courtesy of Nestlé, famous for the Milky Bar, Rowntree confectionary, Häagen-Dazs ice cream, and sugar-laden cereals.
She’s written a book for the Nestlé Nutrition Workshop Series.
And today, she’s a keynote speaker at the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand and Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies congress, sponsored by Nestlé and Pfizer Nutrition.
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