Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Not So Sweet on Similac Organic Baby Formula

Seems baby formula is causing a stir again.

No, not because it's second best to mother's milk. Not because it's been compared to smoking during pregancy. No, not because it deprives young babies of physical contact with momma's breast. And no, not because it might come in cans possibly leaking Bisphenol-A. The formula in question? Similac Organic Infant Formula. Yes, Organic Formula. What could be wrong at the altar of all things organic? Similac, the formula giant, sweetens it's oh-so-pure formula with cane sugar, albeit organic cane sugar, otherwise known as sucrose. What? Is it an artificial sweetner? No, a so-called natural sugar that just happens be super sweet compared to others used in infant formulas. The New York Times blew the lid off the canned milky manna yesterday - For an All-Organic Formula, Baby, That’s Sweet.

Reading the article I couldn't help but notice that the experts express considerable disagreement over whether sucrose sets kids up for a lifetime obsession with sugar and yes, obesity. Apparently what is not at issue is that the formula does taste noticeably sweeter than others as judged by a panel of taste experts assembled by The Times. Also, experts agree all babies show a seemingly inborn preference for sweets.

Thing is, to really have a good idea of how the sucrose-sweetened recipe effects or doesn't effect taste preferences, ACTUAL behavior, and obesity we'd have to follow these kids for a while and compare them to a control group or two who got formula with other sweetners, and perhaps one, breastmilk. But as I understand it, other formulas haven't used cane sugar so obviously its use in formula is not responsible for increasing childhood obesity. Perhaps it may now contribute to it, but then again, I can't imagine that the parents who choose the organic formula are permitting their progeny loads of sugary foods. So are these sucrose-sucking babes really at risk as it were?

No comments: