Bossing around pregnant women

Collin Levey on the Institute of Medicine’s new nutritional guidelines for women, whether expecting or not:
Pregnant women have become as defenseless as smokers, another group that has allowed itself to be pushed around by society without pushing back. This might seem a good thing, since the health of “our children” is at stake. But pushing back might serve a useful purpose: It would help bring out how flimsily based is the claim that many newly unpopular social habits are harmful to the unborn.
I use the word with deliberate irony: Apparently a woman has the right to do anything she wants with her body, except drink wine, smoke cigarettes or now have milk with her cereal. She can abort her unwanted child if she wants, but in the meantime the Institute of Medicine plans to strike whole food groups from the national menu in case she doesn’t.

Freedom for some but not for all. Now why does that sound familiar?


One comment

  1. John Anderson

    The nannies (no offense to those trained to mind children) are everywhere. Some medical groups still advise us to cut down on salt to head off or lessen hypertension, though that link was debunked years ago. A study showing that teens become obese because they get no exercise, not because they ingest soda and junk food, has been dismissed by the heads of medical institutes with “the data may show that, but we still want to dump vending-machine offerings because that is what we think is the problem.” A prominent author writes an article that “Atkins does not work” and cites five studies, four of which concluded that it worked at least as well as low-fat diets and the fifth of which was cancelled, without bothering to mention that he has three low-fat-diet books on the market and a fourth due out shortly. A thirty-year-plus study, involving actual medical practice rather than just surveys, is de-funded by cancer groups when it is learned it shows no significant link between second-hand smoke and cancer or asthma: because the last year was then funded by cigarette makers, the whole study is dismissed as being tobacco-industry propoganda.