A check on the evidence behind the latest news and advice about children. As a psychologist, former researcher and disgruntled consumer of the parenting media I debunk the latest claims about kids from breastfeeding and bullying to autism and attention deficits.
Momma Data's Latest Posts
I refuse to write about the recent op-ed from the nude Playboy model-cum television host and parenting expert who learned everything she needs to know at Google University and one suspects Hugh Heffner's famed grotto. Girlfriend knows how to get media attention even if it means re-branding herself as a vaccine advocate, a defender of public health who had absolutely nothing to do with the return of measles, an illness that as recently as 1989 to 1991 sickened thousands and killed 123 kids in […]
Everybody seeks health and medical information online now, that's old news. According to Pew Research adults not only seek out details about health conditions but other people living with similar experiences and illnesses. So we need to talk about the social life of health information. As my own personal social life sputters and burns, it's reassuring my health might soon have one. That's right, health information now has a social milieu and it's Twitter, Facebook and […]
The American Academy of Pediatrics has released new guidelines today recommending mothers continue breastfeeding through childbearing age, middle-age and well into menopause as long as mutually desired*. This policy change comes amidst a growing body of evidence that sustained breastfeeding protects women from a number of illnesses, conditions and cumbersome familial, social and employment obligations throughout their lifetime. Last month research published in Suboptimal Studies of […]
Sure to please parents and sex educators everywhere, MTV has solved the teen pregnancy crisis. Since the cable network started filming "16 and Pregnant" fewer teens have gotten pregnant. Sure the teen birth rate has fallen 44% from 1991 to 2010 but after the show aired in 2009, the numbers dropped 9% from 2009 through 2010. Naturally it must have been the show causing Nicholas Kristof at the New York Times to declare in a recent column "TV Lowers Birthrate (Seriously)." Seriously?At […]
Two new autism studies out this week. One shows brain abnormalities among children with autism. The other, rising rates of autism. Before you get too excited about either one, take a closer look.The first, a post-mortem examination of brain tissue in children who'd been diagnosed with autism landed in the New England Journal of Medicine but don't be too terribly impressed just yet. It included a mere 22 kids, half with autism, half without. Researchers found similar rough "patches" in the top […]
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