For many years, the message given to pregnant women was that it was ok to have an occasional drink during their pregnancy. This message has changed with a new report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that cautions pregnant women not to drink alcohol in any amount. The AAP has concluded from its studies that, because alcohol is the leading preventable cause of birth defects and neurodevelopmental disabilities, no amount of alcohol is safe.
HealthDay (10/20, Dotinga) ran a detailed report on the study and obtained comment from Dr. Janet Williams, a co-author of the study and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center. Dr. Williams says that future studies will likely continue to show that “alcohol has subtle yet important lasting effects on academic performance, attention, behavior, cognition, memory, language skills, and visual and motor development.”
This study garnered a great deal of attention with a report on ABC World News (10/19, story 8, 1:40, Muir) by David Muir and another on the CBS Evening News (10/19, story 11, 1:05, Pelley) with CBS Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jon Lapook.