Baby Formula Contains Less Sugar Than Breast Milk Scandal!

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It’s possible to wonder at the results of some public health sciencey stuff. For example, we’ve a report today about how much sugar there is in baby formula. A report which appears to entirely miss the important point which should be emphasised. Some baby formulas contain less sugar than human breast milk and so must be considered to be rather damaging to the interests of the child. After all, we all do know that breast is best and formula is only supposed to be there for those mothers who cannot produce sufficient:

Some baby formula milk contains more sugar than Fanta, warns study
An international study raises questions over sugar levels in formula baby milk which in some cases can be as much as twice that of Fanta

Well, we’d all hope that formula does contain more sugar than Fanta. Given that breast milk contains substantially more sugar than Fanta:

Some baby formula milk contains up to twice as much sugar as a Fanta fizzy drink despite the potential increased risks of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay, a university study has found.

Ready to drink formula milk for babies under 12 months – used by the 60 per cent of women who do not breastfeed – was found to contain as much as 8.7 grammes of added sugar per 100 millilitres of liquid, which compares with 4.6 grammes of sugar per 100 millilitres for Fanta.

The 8.7 milligrammes -equivalent to two teaspoons of added sugar – also exceeds the European Parliament recommended limits for infants of 7.5 grammes per 100 millilitres.

The research – part of an 11-nation investigation into the content of formula milk – found over half of the products contained more than five grammes of sugar per 100 millilitres, making them sweeter than many fizzy drinks….

Which is to entirely miss the important point here, isn’t it?

Human breast milk is some 7 grammes per 100 grammes sugar. Lactose, you know, the milk sugar. So, half those formulas tested, those with less than 5 grammes of sugar, are substantially less nourishing for a baby than human breast milk.

Which is, I’m sure we all agree, an absolute scandal. There should be much more sugar in those preparations.

Or as we might put it, of course there’s lots of sugar in baby formula, human breast milk itself is sweet, rather sweeter than Fanta and therefore formula should be sweeter than Fanta too.

Sigh, what is it with these people? Did they forget to ask themselves what the major carbohydrate in milk itself is? Fail to understand that the point of milk is to get sugar into a growing body?

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Phoenix44
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Phoenix44

I’m not sure you are right here Tim? They are talking about “added “sugar, as formula already contains lactose doesn’t it? The whey used is a 5% lactose solution.

Londoner
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Londoner

Correct. Sadly Tim continues to base his pieces on uncritical acceptance of other journalists’ misinterpretations. The source, in this instance:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41415-020-1252-0

John B
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John B

Lactose is not the only carbohydrate in breast milk, other sugars – oligosaccharides – are present. Formula milk even with lactose needs β€˜added’ carbohydrate to make up for what is naturally found in breast milk so as to ensure similar calorific value. Also the amount of carbohydrate (however it gets there) per ml is irrelevant. It is the total amount consumed that matters, and this varies from baby to baby.

Michael van der Riet
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Michael van der Riet

Abba-so-lutely. To survive, human bodies, especially growing bodies, require calories. Or do they want ribs showing as in some deprived countries?

Chester Draws
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Chester Draws

We don’t want big healthy babies do we? Prevent baby obesity!