A statistical re-evaluation indicates serious flaws in the paper by Kwong et al., reporting that low birthweight and impaired development, and perhaps anomalous preimplantation embryo growth, were associated with food restriction during the preimplantation period. This paper has been used to confirm that early forms of protein deprivation in the preimplantation phase carry risks to IVF children. Errors in interpreting the nature of their study and a failure to apply the correct principles of statistical analysis in their hierarchical data structure have led to their flawed investigation. It is therefore proposed that such serious flaws cast doubt on their conclusions. The findings reported in this study should be withdrawn, and a rigorous statistical evaluation should be carried out to provide a proper assessment of the data.
Walters, E., & Edwards, R. G. (2003). On a fallacious invocation of the Barker hypothesis of anomalies in newborn rats due to mothers’ food restriction in preimplantation phases. Reproductive BioMedicine Online, 7(5), 580–582. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1472-6483(10)62075-5