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"Multivitamins help prevent underweight babies, study suggests"


Source: CBC.CA

Published: 04 Apr 2022

Category: Other

Rating: (4 stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

Multivitamins may help babies reach a normal birth weight, according to researchers who say all pregnant women in developing countries should receive the supplements.

Most babies of low birth weight, defined as less than 5.5 pounds, are born in developing countries. They face an increased risk of early death, poor growth and learning disabilities.

For the study in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 8,468 pregnant women who were free of HIV received iron and folic acid supplements, proven prenatal treatments. Half also received supplements containing vitamins C, E and a mix of B vitamins, while the rest got placebos.

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 7 of 9
Availability of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Not Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of harms of treatment Not Applicable

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This article is making the claim that "multivitamins may help babies reach a normal birth weight" and therefore "all pregnant women in developing countries should receive the supplements."

The therapeutic effects of multivitamins may be widely known, however, this article provides some solid research evidence around the extent of the benefits in Tanzanian women.

It does clearly state the novelty and cost of this treatment as well as other prenatal treatments, however, the extent of the benefits and harms should be understood before jumping to bulk production of these supplements.

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