Let’s start here:
Feeding babies solids too early may make fat toddlers
Link to CNN

Reading the headline, which most people only do; you’ll notice that there is a huge pink elephant in the room. Let me expalin:

Feeding a baby solid foods too early in life may increase his risk of becoming obese before reaching preschool, according to a new study in Pediatrics.

Wait, WHA?! Are you kidding? “Food” makes babies fat? How can this be? Should I begin starving my brand new child because someone named Leslie told me so?

Ok LESLIE, let’s take a look at how your degree at Clemson U in Journalism compares to my degree in Visual Communication Design over at Kent State. In my education, I was taught to look at all evidence and not toss out something to make a great story. Here is what you wrote and completely missed when you dreamed up that horseshit headline.

In paragraph 2 or even just the second sentence:

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that new mothers breast-feed their babies for at least six months and introduce solid foods between 4 and 6 months. This new study finds that among formula-fed babies, those who were given solid foods before age 4 months had a higher risk of becoming obese.

Seriously. Are you that terrible of a journalist that you ignore what you are writing to gain success in your lil CNN Blog?

Let’s break down what formula is; ok?

Similac Advance
D Nonfat Milk, Lactose, High Oleic Safflower Oil, Soy Oil, Coconut Oil, Whey Protein Concentrate…

That is enough. The rest is a bunch of supplements and states “less than 2%’ so I won’t even worry about those ingredients.

If you are going to evaluate some research about obesity, you better leave the medical profession and take a look at evolutionary biology for a moment. Cow’s milk is the first ingredient. I can tell you that the same association that provides this statement to all new parents about feeding your child cow’s milk says this:

Cow’s milk also does not contain the healthiest types of fat for growing babies. For these reasons, your baby should not receive any regular cow’s milk for the first twelve months of life. Healthy Children.org an AAP supported website

There it is. We can feed a milk based formula made from low fat cow’s milk but are not allowed to feed a child cow’s milk until they are at least 12 months old. Irony? You betcha. Follow the money.

The next bank of ingredients are a mystery to me. Soybean oil, safflower oil and coconut oil. I like the coconut oil for it’s medium chain fatty acids, but the soybean and safflower oils are not well received in the body and clearly lead to systemic inflammation. Safflower oil contains conjugated linolic acids (CLAs) and this has been a recent hot topic in nutrition. Here is a summary from a study about supplementation of CLAs and inflammation.

Supplementation With Conjugated Linoleic Acid Causes Isomer-Dependent Oxidative Stress and Elevated C-Reactive Protein
Conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs), a group of fatty acids shown to have beneficial effects in animals, are also used as weight loss supplements. Recently, we reported that the t10c12 CLA-isomer caused insulin resistance in abdominally obese men via unknown mechanisms. The aim of the present study was to examine whether CLA has isomer-specific effects on oxidative stress or inflammatory biomarkers and to investigate the relationship between these factors and induced insulin resistance.

^ a b c Ulf Risérus, MMed; Samar Basu, PhD; Stefan Jovinge, MD, PhD; Gunilla Nordin Fredrikson, PhD; Johan Ärnlöv, MD; Bengt Vessby, MD, PhD (September 2002). “Supplementation With Conjugated Linoleic Acid Causes Isomer-Dependent Oxidative Stress and Elevated C-Reactive Protein”. American Heart Association Journals 106 (15): 1925. doi:10.1161/01.CIR.0000033589.15413.48. 01.CIR.0000033589.15413.48v1. PMID 12370214. http://intl-circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/short/106/15/1925. Retrieved 2007-02-1

Diabetes. Right there. If the 3rd ingredient has been linked to causing diabetes in humans, then it’s pretty safe to say that there are other factors in the case of childhood obesity; NOT feeding solid foods.

Leslie, I have a suggestion. Skip the journalism for now and go back to school to understand how research works, how evolutionary biology works and most of all understand how business is run. Dollars always leads to the health problems.

I want to make this clear that I am a parent of a new child. We (my wife) breastfed our son so far up to 9 months however a month ago began feeding formula. Every parent has a choice to feed their child the way that best works for their lifestyle. I am in no way making a statement that formula feeding is bad or should be avoided. I am merely pointing out that with every decision there may be consequences whether good or less than perfect. We as parents do the best we can and we certainly do not need a lousy CNN article telling us that we’re doing harm with our children by feeding solid foods.

CNN, you should be ashamed.

— Daniel Merk

POSTED BY Daniel Merk | 10:15am 7th-Feb, 2011