Guest Post: Dr. Alan Greene on Thankfulness

Anna and I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Greene for the past 5 years in a variety of endeavors and projects, he was interviewed for the Pre & Post Natal Yoga Work-out DVD, and has been an Advisor for P.A.M., sitting on expert panel at all of the last 4 Launch Events!  We fully support his WhiteOut Now Campaign, and never-ending efforts to educate and lobby for healthier food options for infants, toddlers and children.  It is with his permission that we re-post this blog that he wrote over the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Thank you Alan, we are so thankful for you!

Alisa Donner & Anna Getty, Co-founders of Pregnancy Awareness Month (P.A.M.)

Last Thanksgiving I announced a bold campaign, spearheaded by an amazing band of volunteers, to upgrade babies’ first foods to real foods – and babies’ first grains to whole grains – and to do this in 2011.

It’s November, and we still have a ways to go, but we also have an exciting reason to celebrate!

Over 10,000 physicians, mostly pediatricians, took part in a July/August 2011 survey by Medscape.com that demonstrated an historic shift in their feeding recommendations this year. The first question in the survey was “What do you recommend for baby’s first food (check all that apply)?” The options were white rice cereal, whole grain cereal, a vegetable, a fruit, egg yolk, meat, or other. Of those who answered as of August 31, the number one choice was white rice cereal – garnering nearly twice as many votes as the next most common.

But after reading an article about WhiteOut Now, our public service campaign the survey results were strikingly different.

Responding to,” What will you recommend for baby’s first food (check all that apply)” only 3% even included white rice cereal among their recommended choices. Physicians were also asked, “Do you think white rice cereal is the best choice for baby’s first food?” About 3% of those who responded had “No opinion” and an overwhelming 93% responded, “No.”

As of now over 12,000 physicians have taken part in the survey, and the change continues to spread. To me this major reversal suggests that the old white rice cereal recommendations were based on well-meaning habit rather than on science or even on careful consideration. When asked to reconsider, an overwhelming majority of physicians were quickly able to see advantages of abandoning the old recommendation.

Evidence is mounting that changing early feeding habits is critical to reversing the childhood obesity epidemic. This stunning survey suggests that first feedings are poised to change. A reason to be thankful indeed!

Alan Greene, MD, FAAP

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