October 2012 Issue

Nature’s Best
By Judy Riddle
Today’s Dietitian
Vol. 14 No. 10 P. 6

When I was pregnant with my son, I began reading about the health benefits of breast-feeding for infants and mothers. The more I read about the benefits, the more I became convinced that breast-feeding was the best thing to do for my baby. I must admit I was nervous because this was uncharted territory. My mom didn’t breast-feed me because she said in her generation it was frowned upon, and it didn’t appeal to her one bit. Formula was, by far, the way to go. Of course in my generation, breast-feeding was back in vogue—and for good reasons.

Breast milk is teeming with infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies that strengthen a child’s immune system—nature’s ingredients over-the-counter formula simply doesn’t have. In infants, these components reduce the incidence and severity of many infectious diseases, help in neurodevelopment, and lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome and allergies as well as obesity and type 1 diabetes later in life. For mothers, breast-feeding decreases the risk of ovarian and breast cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. It forms a strong emotional bond between mother and baby and helps moms burn those extra calories needed to lose weight and return to their prepregnancy size.

Yet despite the advantages of breast-feeding, not all women can do it, and working mothers, in particular, often stop prematurely because of the various obstacles they face. The good news is that these obstacles can be removed. In the article “Breast-Feeding Success,” on page 52, nutrition experts offer solutions to five common problems associated with breast-feeding. Share these solutions with clients to help them meet their breast-feeding goals.

Another hot topic we’re covering this month is the controversy surrounding sugar. In our cover story, “The Real Scoop on Sugar,” contributing editor Sharon Palmer, RD, explores whether the sweet stuff is truly to blame for the rising rates of obesity and other health problems in this country. Turn to page 28 to find out what the latest research and the experts are saying.

Attending this year’s Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo in our hometown of Philadelphia? Please visit us at booth 1032. We look forward to meeting you for the first time and seeing old friends again.

Enjoy the issue!