“They say that moms with children with food allergies do more research than the CIA, and I think that’s true,” quips Leah Segedieat the opening of a three-minute video she’s using to get the attention of moms and and baby formula giant Similac. She wants the company to get rid of the GMOs they put in their line of formulas, something Similac (Abbott Laboratories) decided not to do at their recent annual shareholder meeting.
Doctors and scientists have long known that formula fed babies gain weight faster, and are heavier, than breast fed babies. It’s been surmised that the differing growth rate has to do with the composition of the formula, which is cow based. Recent studies support this idea.
Researchers know that free amino acids and proteins increase satiety in adults. They wanted to see if infants had the same result. Headed by Julie Mennella, PhD, researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia randomized 64 healthy term infants whose mothers had already chosen formula over breast feeding. The babies received either cow’s-milk formula (Enfamil) or protein hydrolysate formula (Nutramigen) from ages 2 weeks to 7.5 months. By the end of the study, those infants who received the Nutramigen had weight-for-length and weight-for-age scores closer to normal than those infants who received the Enfamil, or an average of two pounds. One of the reasons for the faster weight gain may be the comparatively higher consumption of the cow’s-milk formula despite both formulas containing the same number of calories per ounce, as reported in the journal Pediatrics.