Parenting

Some baby formula milk contains more sugar than Fanta


Researchers warn that sugary formula milk could have serious health implications (Picture: Getty/PhotoAlto)

A worrying new study has raised questions over sugar levels in formula baby milk, which in some cases contain twice as much as Fanta.

Researchers found that ready to drink formula milk for babies under 12 months was found to contain as much as 8.7 grammes of added sugar per 100 millilitres, compared to 4.6 grammes of sugar per 100 millilitres found in Fanta.

This is particularly concerning when you consider that 60% of the women who don’t breastfeed use this kind of formula milk.

The study was condutced by Gemma Bridge, of Leeds Beckett University, and Professor Raman Bedi, professor of transcultural oral health at King’s College London, and they have warned that the sugar could lead to a range of health issues for children, including obesity and tooth decay. 

The milk with the most sugar, 8.7g, is the equivalent of two teaspoons, which also exceeds the European Parliament recommended limits for infants of 7.5g per 100ml.  

Researchers suggested that formula contains so much sugar because of the natural sweetness of breastmilk. Breastmilk can contain as much as 7g of sugar, but that it is naturally occuring lactose which is specificially tailored to the needs of your baby.

‘Although it is sweet and high in energy, the sugar is mainly lactose and the content is specific to the needs of the growing infant,’ read the study findings.

‘Conversely, infant formula milks have a standardised make-up and contain added sugars such as corn syrup, which are added during production and are not found in breast milk. This is bad for babies because high consumption of added sugars may contribute to tooth decay, poor diet and lead to obesity in children.’

Researchers also warned that the sugar levels could lead to babies developing a sweet tooth as they get older, which could also have a negative impact on their diet in the future. 

The study, published in the British Dental Journal, also claimed that some producers of baby formula are promoting its use over breastfeeding.

This would be against World Health Organisation rules, so the study authors have now called for tighter regulations in the industry.

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