Azara Blog: The WHO says that babies should weigh less

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Date published: 2006/04/24

The BBC says:

The World Health Organization is to issue new guidelines on measuring the growth rates of babies.

Current charts are based on calculations using the growth patterns of babies fed largely on formula milk from 20 years ago.

But bottle-fed babies put on weight more quickly than those that are breast-fed, meaning breast-fed children could be shown as underweight.

The new recommended charts are based on data from breast-fed babies.

The research involved more than 8,000 children from six different countries, who were raised in environments where breast feeding, good diets, and prevention and control of infection were prevalent.

The data from this research has been used to formulate new charts that indicate how children should grow; allowing health professionals and parents to recognize optimal weight gain in children.

The study has shown that the current system pitches target weights too high.

Current charts suggest a healthy one-year-old weighs between 22.5lb (10.2kg) and 28.5lb (12.93kg), when in fact the true healthy weight is 21lb (9.53kg) to 26lb (11.79kg).

There has already been pressure to switch to charts based on breast-fed babies.

The WHO already recommends that mothers breast-feed their children, stating that it provides all of the nutrients a child needs.

More health faddism. Of course the WHO has been waging a long campaign against powdered milk. But this latest campaign is bound to further demonise mothers who do not breast-feed their children. And the obvious conclusion to the switch is that we will soon hear about a new "epidemic" of alleged obesity in children, since when you arbitrarily subtract two and a half pounds from the upper bound of what is "normal" then the number of children above this bound is going to be a (probably much) larger percentage. The use of the phrase "true healthy weight" is particularly egregious, since it seems the "truth" has somehow changed from one day to the next. Just wait for the day when the control freaks tell us that mothers that don't breast-feed their children are guilty of child abuse.

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