Are certain baby formulas making babies fat?

| Friday, December 31, 2010 | |
by Karen Kaplan

Could mothers be putting their children on a path toward obesity from the very first days of their lives?

A study published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics finds that babies fed a particular type of infant formula put on more weight than other babies and continued to gain weight faster than their counterparts during the first 7.5 months of life.

Researchers from the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia wondered whether babies would respond differently to formulas based on cow's milk (whose proteins are intact) and those made with proteins that are pre-digested, which are easier for some babies to tolerate. These formulas, known as protein hydrolysate formulas (or PHFs), have about 35 percent more protein than cow's-milk formulas. They also have more free amino acids.

The differences between the two groups became apparent after only 2.5 months. By then, the babies receiving cow's-milk formula had significantly higher weight-per-length than the babies on PHF formula.



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