Is Breast Truly Best? Estimating the Effects of Breastfeeding on Long-term Child Health and Wellbeing in the United States Using Sibling Comparisons

Overview of attention for article published in Social Science & Medicine, May 2014
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#4 of 3,377)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (98th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
29 news outlets
blogs
11 blogs
twitter
179 tweeters
facebook
11 Facebook pages
reddit
2 Redditors

Readers on

mendeley
153 Mendeley
citeulike
1 CiteULike
Title
Is Breast Truly Best? Estimating the Effects of Breastfeeding on Long-term Child Health and Wellbeing in the United States Using Sibling Comparisons
Published in
Social Science & Medicine, May 2014
DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.01.027
Pubmed ID
Authors

Cynthia G. Colen, David M. Ramey, Colen CG, Ramey DM

Abstract

Breastfeeding rates in the U.S. are socially patterned. Previous research has documented startling racial and socioeconomic disparities in infant feeding practices. However, much of the empirical evidence regarding the effects of breastfeeding on long-term child health and wellbeing does not adequately address the high degree of selection into breastfeeding. To address this important shortcoming, we employ sibling comparisons in conjunction with 25 years of panel data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) to approximate a natural experiment and more accurately estimate what a particular child's outcome would be if he/she had been differently fed during infancy. Results from standard multiple regression models suggest that children aged 4 to 14 who were breast- as opposed to bottle-fed did significantly better on 10 of the 11 outcomes studied. Once we restrict analyses to siblings and incorporate within-family fixed effects, estimates of the association between breastfeeding and all but one indicator of child health and wellbeing dramatically decrease and fail to maintain statistical significance. Our results suggest that much of the beneficial long-term effects typically attributed to breastfeeding, per se, may primarily be due to selection pressures into infant feeding practices along key demographic characteristics such as race and socioeconomic status.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 179 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 153 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 8 5%
United Kingdom 4 3%
Spain 3 2%
Germany 2 1%
Canada 2 1%
New Zealand 1 1%
South Africa 1 1%
Croatia 1 1%
Belgium 1 1%
Other 3 2%
Unknown 127 83%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 33 22%
Student > Ph. D. Student 28 18%
Student > Master 25 16%
Student > Bachelor 15 10%
Student > Doctoral Student 12 8%
Other 42 27%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 54 35%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 35 23%
Social Sciences 31 20%
Psychology 17 11%
Linguistics 2 1%
Other 16 10%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 458. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 03 August 2016.
All research outputs
#4,959
of 5,552,412 outputs
Outputs from Social Science & Medicine
#4
of 3,377 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#185
of 150,161 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Social Science & Medicine
#1
of 70 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 5,552,412 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 3,377 research outputs from this source. They typically receive more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 9.6. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 150,161 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 70 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.