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Sugar in Baby Formula Causes Weight Gain

Sugar in baby formula? Yes, it’s there, too.

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Baby drinking sugar in baby formula

Breast milk is the recommended source of nutrition for infants. For various reasons, however, some mothers turn to bottled formulas to nourish their children. But added sugar in baby formula milk—such as corn syrup—can lead to excessive weight gain.

That was the key finding of a study in The Journal of Nutrition, which discovered that primarily formula-fed infants (9–12 months) and toddlers (13–15 months) consumed about twice as much added sugar and crossed a weight-for-age percentile faster than those in the same age groups who were mostly nourished by breast milk.

The concern here is that formula-feeding can contribute to childhood obesity and that drinking lots of added sugar as a baby may foster a desire for sweet things later in life. Shocking is the fact that there are so few regulations in place to control sugar content in store-bought formulas and to make sure consumers are well-informed.

See also: The Not-So-Sweet News About Baby Food


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Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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