Bmj Usa: Minerva


BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 19 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:E17

This article originally appeared in BMJ USA

There is now consistent evidence that weight loss reduces blood pressure in people who are heavier than they should be and have high or “high normal” blood pressure. In one American study, participants' diastolic blood pressure went down 1.4 mm Hg for every 2 pounds (4.4 kg) they lost (Annals of Internal Medicine 2001;134:1–11. Most of them, however, were back to square one by the end of three years' follow up. Despite prolonged and intensive counselling by dietitians or health educators, only 13% of participants maintained their weight loss.

It seems likely that children who were breast fed as babies have a small but detectable cognitive advantage over children who were bottle fed. The latest study in a long line of inquiry, which began in 1929, looks at the IQ of children age 7–8 years who were born very prematurely (Archives of Diseases in Childhood Fetal and Neonatal Edition 2001;84:F23–27). Nearly three quarters of mothers provided expressed breast milk for feeding. Their children ended up with a verbal IQ score six points higher than the rest, independent of …

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