Thursday, 6 January 2011


I have just seen an advert on TV which is a perfect example of the technique described in my book review two posts ago.

The ad is for a milk formula for older babies. You may have seen it.

The ad starts by making the suggestion that children of this age run a significant risk of dietary iron deficiency, something I suppose would never have occurred to the vast majority of parents. It then points out how little iron there is in ordinary cows milk, while scaring people with the terrible consequences to the development of the child if this “problem” is not addressed.

Fortunately the solution is at hand in their product, a milk formula fortified with iron.

And there you have it. Problem condition invented, child medicalised, problem solved. 

What utter bastards, setting out to profit from a groundless fear, planted by them.

Could any of my GP readers advise how often they see iron deficiency in older babies, and toddlers.


  1. Thankfully, very rarely. I can check on a search tomorrow but, off the top of my head, one toddler out of our 9000 practice population (in the last 3 years).
    BTW - currently reading Selling Sickness - bloody good recommendation to anyone that put pen to a prescription pad.


  2. Never seen it in 12 years as a general practitioner, 8 of which as a single hander (so not gone to anyone else).
    Only kids I have ever supplemented were those that were prem babies until 7 months old.
    Surely most toddlers would get iron from their solid diets?