Monday, May 19, 2008

Sucrose in baby formula? Are you kidding me!

Sucrose (a.k.a sugar)

The New York Times just cover Similac's new organic baby formula. It is just another reminder that food manufacturers and our own government's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not have our best interests in mind. Not even, the smallest and most vulnerable of us, babies. And I thought childhood obesity had gotten the attention of the FDA. I am very cautious when I see a FDA approved label. It doesn't necessarily mean healthy. I don't blindly buy anything hiding behind the "organic" label. I read the label too. Formula was Mikey's first processed food. I am going to research that decision a lot harder with the second.

Quotes from the New York Times article on this subject are below if you don't have time to read it.
"It is the only major brand of organic formula that is sweetened with cane sugar, or sucrose, which is much sweeter than sugars used in other formulas."

"Sucrose can harm tooth enamel faster than other sugars; once babies get used to its sweeter taste, they might resist less sweet formulas or solid foods; and some studies suggest that they might overeat, leading to rapid weight gain in the first year, which is often a statistical predictor of childhood obesity."

"In Europe (27 countries), where sudden increases in childhood obesity are a pressing public health issue, sucrose-sweetened formulas will be banned by the end of 2009, ..."

"'The issue is that sweet tastes tend to encourage consumption of excessive amounts,' Dr. Caballero said. Evidence shows that babies and children will always show a preference for the sweetest food available, he said, and they will eat more of it than they would of less-sweet food. This is how breakfast cereal manufacturers compete."

"Other organic formulas, like Earth's Best and Parent's Choice, use organic lactose as the added sugar."

"And eating sucrose, he said, generates future cravings for sucrose; other sugars tested, like fructose and glucose, do not have the same long-term effect."

"Babies love sweetness, and anyone selling a sweeter formula is going to have an advantage, because it would be harder to switch a baby to another formula once they get used to the taste, said Dr. William J. Klish."


bnye said...

With so view affordable choices on the market, it is unfortunate that Similac chooses to encourage "excessive consumption" by adding sugar to its baby formula.

Cindy said...

I would imagine that they consider (as do I) sucrose a better additive to the formula than high fructose corn syrup, which is the #2 ingredient in most baby formulas.

I'm afraid I don't understand what people are expecting to find in baby formula. Personally, just reading the back of a typical formula can is enough to make my stomach turn but some sort of sugar added is necessary.

Now it's got me thinking though... time to do some reading up.

Spinach and Honey said...

High fructose corn syrup was the #1 ingredient in the Similac formula that I used for Mikey three years ago and the #2 ingredient was sucrose. I am happy that I am better informed for Mikey's brother coming in June!

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