Abortions also make women skinnier….

The Health Select Committee has just recommended extending paid parental leave to six months, to encourage breast feeding.

As a supporter of paid parental leave (or, more accurately, as someone who believes that paid parental leave doesn’t go nearly far enough and that parenting should be resourced as the work it is) I should be happy.

Here’s the reason the Health Select Committee has decided breastfeeding is important:

The promotion of breastfeeding for at least the first six months, and preferably for the first year, is widely recommended, as it has an important protective role against obesity during childhood and adolescence, and may also protect mothers against obesity and diabetes.

Apparently women are en-slimmening machines. The main value of our breast-feeding, indeed of parenting in the first six months, is preventing fat cells.

This is from the report into obesity and type 2 diabetes; I may write more later. Although what I actually want to do to the report is to batter it, deep fry it, and then slather it with icing.

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5 Responses to Abortions also make women skinnier….

  1. 1
    djw says:

    I agree that it’s maddening the way public health discussions constantly conflate obesity concerns and actual health concerns, and it certainly leads to some bad policy outcomes (although clearly not this time).

    From an American perspective, though, I can’t say I’d care much what public reasons the government gave us for enacting a policy like this, as long as they did it. Their going to be on this anti-obesity kick anyway, whether enacting good and just policies or bad, unjust and stupid ones. That seems like a given.

    It would seem that while guilt-inducing pressure to breastfeed is suboptimal, this policy still enhances the choice of whether or not to breastfeed (by making it easier to do so should you wish to) more than it restricts it.

  2. 2
    Madeline says:

    Breastfeeding also helps protect the baby from certain types of cancer, right? And I’m pretty sure that important antibodies are passed from the mother to the baby through breast milk. Not to mention that the act of breastfeeding strengthens the emotional bond between mother and baby.

    I think there’s more to be said for breastfeeding than “it keeps people from being fat,” and if if that’s all this report mentions, it’s a stupid and superficial report. Obesity alone is not a disease, as far as I am aware.

  3. 3
    Deborah says:

    Extended breastfeeding helps prevent cancer, SIDS, childhood leukemia, and dental problems, among other things. But the only thing that mobilizes the fucking government is that it helps prevent obesity.


  4. 4
    Robert says:

    The report is titled “Inquiry Into Obesity and Type II Diabetes”. It is not an inquiry into breastfeeding. In the context of obesity and type II diabetes, the relevant fact about breastfeeding is that it seems to discourage both conditions. So that is what the report discusses.

  5. 5
    mom3 says:

    Breastfeedng provides a host of benefits to mother and child, yet of course we focus on obesity. Isn’t protecting our children from other sicknesses enough? Funny…I understand obesity is a problem, but somehow I don’t think the more children are breastfed the less people will overeat. Oh well, at least it would give mothers and/or fathers more time at home with their child before returning to work. There’s a really interesting discussion about breastfeeding vs. formula feeding at http://www.opposingviews.com/questions/will-formula-feeding-harm-my-baby Experts from both side weigh in, and the La Leche League emphasizes the importance of breastfeeding.