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Organic Formula and Sugar

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Here’s an interesting story from yesterday’s New York Times. It talks about how Similac Organic formula is sweetened with sucrose. Here’s an excerpt from the story.
Parents may be buying it because they believe that organic is healthier, but babies may have a reason of their own for preferring Similac Organic: it is significantly sweeter than other formulas. 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.
No health problems in babies have been associated with Similac Organic. But to pediatricians, there are risks in giving babies cane sugar: 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.
Asked about these concerns, Carolyn Valek, a spokeswoman for Abbott Nutrition, the division of Abbott Laboratories that makes Similac Organic, said that sucrose had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and was considered “safe and well established.” Ms. Valek said that Similac Organic had no more sweetener than other formulas and that prolonged contact with any kind of sugar could cause tooth decay.
In Europe, where sudden increases in childhood obesity are a pressing public health issue, sucrose-sweetened formulas will be banned by the end of 2009, except when ordered by a doctor for babies with severe allergies. The 27 countries of the European Union adopted the new rules according to the recommendations of the group’s Scientific Committee on Food, which found that sucrose provided no particular nutritional advantages, could, in rare cases, bring about a fatal metabolic disorder, and might lead to overfeeding.



One Response to “Organic Formula and Sugar”

We give my daughter organic formula: goat’s milk! I breastfeed her whenever I’m with her, but am unable to produce quite enough for her while I’m at work, even with the Symphony pump. Lucky thing we have Split Creek Farms just a few minutes away, where we can buy safe unpasteurized milk (it’s tested for bacteria, etc). She is nearly at the one-year mark and will soon be able to have cow’s milk to supplement breastfeeding, which will be a little easier on our wallet.

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