A New Study Shows That The Type Of Formula You Feed Your Baby May Either Cause Him To Gain More Weight Than Normal Or Maintain The Same Weight As A Breast-Fed Baby.
A new study shows that the type of formula you feed your baby may either cause him to gain more weight than normal or maintain the same weight as a breast-fed baby.
Assuming your baby is allergy-free, does it really matter what type of formula you feed her? The answer might be yes, according to a new study published in Pediatrics yesterday and reported by Time. Keep in mind this was a small study -- 56 mothers and their new infants were followed. Each of the mothers had already decided they wanted to formula feed before the study. The 56 women/infants were split into two groups. One group of 32 babies was fed formula made from cow's milk and the other group of 24 babies was fed hypoallergenic formula (protein hydrolysate formula - PHF). Hypoallergenic formula is made of predigested proteins and is therefore easier for infants to digest. Babies were followed for seven months beginning at two weeks of age. The results were interesting. After 2.5 months, babies in the regular formula group had "significantly" higher weights per length. After 3.5 months, the babies who were fed he hypoallergenic formula had weights similar to breastfed babies, while the babies who were fed traditional cow's milk formula weighed more. Throughout the entire study, the babies who were fed traditional cow's milk formula remained heavier. So why the difference in weight? There are two possible reasons:>>What do you think? If you formula feed, would this sort of information affect the type of formula you select?
It's not clear why cow's-milk formula may contribute to increased weight, but the researchers speculate that the type and amount of protein in PHF may make babies feel fuller faster, or that babies dislike the taste of PHF and eat less.Interesting stuff. It's a small study, but because it seemed carefully controlled, the results might be significant. Unlike parents who worry about their babies being fat for aesthetic reasons (Is my (baby's) butt too big?), I could understand parents who formula feed carefully considering formula choices if this information is applicable to more babies for the following reason, noted by the researchers:
Because dietary and nutritional programming can have long-term consequences in terms of later development of obesity, diabetes, and other diseases, it is imperative that we learn more about the long-term consequences of the early growth differences caused by environmental triggers, such as those associated with infant formulas, and how and why they differ from breast-feeding, which is the optimal mode of feeding