Studies Show that Baby Formulas Contain a Lot of Sugar

Baby formulas generally contain high amounts of sugar. This has been proven by scientific investigations that alert us to the secondary effects over the medium and long term.
Studies Show that Baby Formulas Contain a Lot of Sugar

Last update: 05 August, 2021

Many people use baby formulas to complement the diets of the little ones or to substitute breast milk. However, recent investigations suggest that the amount of sugar these contain is excessively high.

This could lead to negative consequences for the baby’s development. One of these may be an alteration in the microflora, which, in the first stages of life, is very sensitive to diet, as this study explores. An excessive level of sugar can condition the baby to be predisposed to suffering diabetes, obesity, or other complex illnesses.

Baby formulas and breast milk

Ideally, you should prepare baby formulas so that they’re as similar as possible to breast milk, in terms of its nutritional value. By doing this, you ensure that your baby develops properly and that their body works correctly.

However, it may be a good idea to include slightly higher levels of certain nutrients like omega 3. These fatty acids are beneficial for brain development, according to some studies. And, they have very favorable anti-inflammatory capacities.

The amount of sugar in baby formulas

Despite the fact that breast milk contains lactose, a sugar that our bodies are unable to digest in the first stages of life, baby formulas contain an excessive amount of simple sugars. In fact, a large number of brands of premade drinks and formulas for babies contain more than 1/4 oz per 2/5 pint of product. This concentration of sugar is comparable with sports drinks.

It’s worth mentioning that sugar, in addition to providing organoleptic properties, has a certain addictive effect, as highlighted in some investigations. It’s not a good idea, therefore, to subject babies to an excessive amount of this nutrient. By doing so, the child’s palate may get used to it in the future, which may cause them to fall into consuming it excessively.

Baby crawling towards the camera.

Sugar and complex illnesses

More and more studies are finding a relationship between sugar consumption in non-athletic people and the risk of developing complex illnesses over time. The relationship between consuming simple sugars and diabetes or obesity is quite clear. Additionally, specialists have linked the consumption of this nutrient to an increase in the risk of suffering some kinds of cancer.

And if that weren’t enough, they also link consuming sugar to the risk of cardiovascular illnesses in children. An article in the journal Circulation supports this claim. However, adding artificial sweeteners to products instead of sugar doesn’t seem to be a solution that’s particularly effective when it comes to fighting against the risk of these kinds of illnesses.

The importance of reading the label on baby formulas

For all of these reasons, it’s important to read the labels on any product before you buy it. Especially so if you’re buying foods that have been made for children. A continuous bad choice of ingredients can contribute to future health problems.

It’s a good idea to choose baby formulas that have low levels of sugar and are rich in proteins, and fatty acids like omega 3. Also, it could be worth gently supplementing these products with probiotics.

This will help to improve the composition of microflora the baby has during their first stages of life. This will lead to positive consequences for their health over the medium and long term.

Baby formulas.


Baby formulas, occasionally, contain more levels of sugar than is recommended. In fact, the concentration of this nutrient is often similar to those present in sports drinks.

This nutrient is quite dangerous when regularly consumed and in high concentrations. Above all, when consumed during the first few stages of life.

For this reason, it’s crucial to pay special attention to the labels of the products you buy and choose the ones that contain less sugar. We shouldn’t forget that breast milk contains lactose. As such it may be a good idea to choose baby formulas that also contain it. Abandoning lactose may generate intolerances over the short and medium-term, which isn’t good.

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