Researchers at the Medical Research Council have found that newborns, who are fed nutrient enriched formula may put on weight faster and increase their risk of becoming obese later in life. Formula fed babies are at a risk of increase of their body fat percentage by the time they reach 5 to 8 years of age.
The study found that babies who were given enriched formula, had higher body fat percentages than babies who had been fed normal formula.
This can lead to obesity and a shorter life span in the future.
This study confirms earlier estimates that about 20% of adult obesity has its roots in infancy when the individual was over fed as a baby, and which led to excessive weight gain during babyhood.
This also supports the general case for breastfeeding infants – while it is possible to overfeed babies formula, it is far less possible to over feed breast fed babies. Babies who are breast fed have to work hard to get what they can and so will stop trying when they feel full. However, since it is easier to drink from a bottle they may be more inclined to take what they are given, and end up being over fed.