11 August 2008

Priming Babies for Obesity

"Are infant formula products priming our babies for obesity? Here's a shocking, but true, fact: One version of Similac for infants is made with an incredible 42.6% corn syrup solids and another 10% sugar! That's over 50% refined sugar in a product for babies!"
This was the first thing to catch my eye in the latest Natural News Insiders Alert.
A recent article in the New York Times reveals that the Organic version of Similac infant formula is sweetened with cane sugar (sucrose), and that it is much sweeter than other infant formulas. All infant formulas are sweetened to help infants digest the proteins, but perhaps we could find a better match on the sweetener used.
Then again, as we are so concerned with what is appearing to be an epidemic of obesity in the US, why are we adding so much sweetener to infant formula? In Europe, using sucrose in baby formula products will be banned starting in 2009, one step they are taking to combat their obesity issues. Perhaps we should be following their lead.
Another point to mention while we are sweet on the subject, is the dental problems that excessive sugar can lead to, especially in babies. Most new parents don't think to brush their baby's gums, or brush those brand new teeth, after feeding them all that sugar.
Other issues of concern surrounding the level of sweetness of, and sugars in, infant formula include:
1) The sweeter it is the more we want to eat of it. I am not saying that you should take all of the sweetness out of infant formula, just wondering if we are training our babies to eat an excessive amount of food from the start.
2) Feeding infant formula is responsible for up to 26% of insulin dependent diabetes in children.
3) Children fed infant formula are three to four times more likely to develop inner ear problems.
4) Infant formula feeding is seen in many more cases of hospitalization due to bacterial infections.
And last, but by no means least,
5) Children who are fed infant formula have been found to test lower on intelligence tests.

I have always supported breast feeding. It is simple, convenient, always ready, and provides the perfect nutrition for baby.

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