Let Them Eat Dirt : Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World
Overview - In the two-hundred years since we discovered that microbes cause infectious diseases, we ve battled to keep them at bay. But a recent explosion of scientific knowledge has led to undeniable evidence that early exposure to these organisms is beneficial to our children s well-being. Read more...
DownloadThis item is available only to U.S. billing addresses.
More About Let Them Eat Dirt by Ph.d. B. Brett Finlay; Ph.d. Marie-claire Arrieta
In the two-hundred years since we discovered that microbes cause infectious diseases, we ve battled to keep them at bay. But a recent explosion of scientific knowledge has led to undeniable evidence that early exposure to these organisms is beneficial to our children s well-being. Our current emphasis on hyper-cleanliness is taking a toll on our children s lifelong health. This engaging and important book explains how the millions of microbes that live in our bodies influence childhood development; why an imbalance in those microbes can lead to obesity, diabetes, asthma, autism, and reactions to vaccines, among other chronic conditions; and how--from conception on--parents can positively impact their own behaviors and those of their children. It describes how natural childbirth, breastfeeding, and solid foods influence children s microbiota and offers practical advice on whether to sterilize food implements for babies, the use of antibiotics, and why having pets is a good idea. Like the groundbreaking parenting books "Last Child in the Woods" and "The Whole-Brain Child, " here is the first book to apply the latest cutting-edge scientific research about the human microbiome to the health and well-being of our children. "
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in:
- Review Date:
Microbiologists Finlay and Arrieta explain, in illuminating detail, the importance of the gut microbiome and, in particular, how supporting its diversity before birth and in the first months of life can benefit the immune system, allergy avoidance, and lifelong health. They urge reduction of the routine use of antibiotics and discourage use of antimicrobial soaps and sterilizers for baby bottles. They also affirm the value of bacteria-laden breast milk, supplementing formula with probiotics, being licked by puppies, and playing outside. Through these and other measures, they hope to restore the powerful benefits of microbe transfer from the environment to the young child, benefits lost as a side effect of efforts to reduce infectious disease risk and of cultural attitudes that conflate dirt with disease. Finlay and Arrieta’s strong pro-vaccine stance and willingness to admit that some claims are not yet fully established place them firmly in the medical mainstream. The focus on practical choices before and during birth makes this book a good resource for expectant parents; the information here is actually most useful well before the dirt-eating toddler stage. Agent: John Pearce and Chris Casuccio, Westwood Creative Artists. (Sept.)