BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7479.E335 (Published 09 December 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:E335

Despite international leanings towards the later weaning of babies, a review of data from over 1600 infants from five prospective randomized trials of weaning before and after 12 weeks of age found little evidence of any influences on health either way up to the age of 18 months. The outcomes in question included diarrhea and vomiting, chest infections, atopy, and sleep patterns. Early weaned babies were larger at 12 weeks, but any differences in growth disappeared by 18 months (Archives of Disease in Childhood 2004;89: 728-33).

Massage after sport is thought to enhance recovery after training and to protect against overuse injuries. But a study of massage after bilateral eccentric exercising of the quadriceps muscles suggests that it serves no useful purpose other than pleasure. With one leg acting as a control for the other, massage treatment affected neither the level of pain nor its duration. Nor did it influence the loss of strength or function after exercise (American Journal of Sports Medicine 2004;32: 1499-503).

Internet shopping for drugs turns patients into consumers and removes doctors from the equation. When complications occur, however, consumers revert to being patients and return to the traditional health system. …

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