Women Who Breast Feed Longer Likely to Have More Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Vida Maralani PhD Associate Professor Department of Sociology Cornell University

Dr. Maralani

Vida Maralani PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
Cornell University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Breastfeeding is a time-intensive and culturally and emotionally charged topic in the U.S. with many different stakeholders. Women hear the strong message that they should breastfeed their infants for the first year of life, yet it is unambiguously clear that they find these guidelines hard to follow in practice. We were interested in exploring how breastfeeding duration is associated with how many children women go on to have. Our results show that women who breastfeed their first child for five months or longer are more likely to have three or more children, and less likely to have only one child, than women who breastfeed for shorter durations or not at all. Women who initiate breastfeeding did not differ in how many children they expected to have before they started their families. Rather, the number of children women actually bear differs by how long they breastfeed their first child. Women who breastfeed for shorter durations are more likely to have fewer children than they expected than to have more children than expected. In contrast, women who breastfeed longer are as likely to achieve their expectations as to exceed them, and they are nearly as likely to have more children than they expected as they are to have fewer.

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Do Menu Labels Cause Diners to Order Fewer Calories?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

John Cawley PhD Professor of policy analysis and management College of Human Ecology Cornell University

Dr. Cawley

John Cawley PhD
Professor of policy analysis and management
College of Human Ecology
Cornell University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The background is that diet-related chronic disease has increased dramatically in the US and many other economically developed countries. For example, the prevalence of obesity in the U.S. has roughly tripled since 1960, and the prevalence of Type II diabetes has also increased significantly.  As a result, policymakers are looking for ways to facilitate healthy eating.  One possible approach is to require that restaurants list on their menus the number of calories in each menu item.  Several cities such as New York City and Philadelphia passed such laws, and in May of this year (2018) a nationwide law took effect requiring such calorie labels on the menus of chain restaurants. However, the effects of this information is not well known.

To answer that question, we conducted randomized controlled field experiments in two sit-down, full-service restaurants.  Parties of guests were randomly assigned to either the control group that got the regular menu without calorie information, or the treatment group that got the same menus but with calorie counts on the menu.  We then documented what items people ordered and then surveyed the patrons after their dinner.  Overall we collected data from over 5,000 patrons.

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