Thursday, February 15, 2007

Interrupted breast rant

I was just about to start a rant about the fact that the media reporting scientific research don't seem to have any concept of the differences between correlation and cause, when I was rudely interrupted by the facts of the case I was about to cite. Actually, it doesn't undermine the dodgy presentation on the BBC Breakfast News show the other day but at least the article on the web shows that in this case, the research does show some kind of causal relationship.

Anyway.... what am I talking about.... ah yes.... research seems to show that there is a causal link between being breast-fed and climbing the social class system. Accounting for other factors, individuals who were breast-fed have a 58% incidence of moving up the social classes, compared with 50% for those who were not breast fed (an increase of 41%). The difference was even perceptible between siblings, where one was breast-fed and the other was not. The research is based on a huge cohort study of individuals born in the late 1930s who had all been studied as babies.

I can't decide whether having another pro-breastfeeding argument is a good thing, or is it just something else that kids will be able to throw back at their Mum claiming "I'm not posh because I didn't get any!".

Anyway.... even though the facts rudely interrupted me this time, I sure there will be many times in the future where Husband walks in to find me screaming "correlation not cause" at the TV.

1 comment:

doctor/woman said...

Yes it is deeply annoying, not to mention irresponsible the way the media reports new scientific research most of the time. Completely does my head in, especially when it's the latest scare story about what causes cancer next. If it were not for such irresponsible reporting, I don't suppose we would be waiting for measles to re-establish itself in the UK.