beware of what your baby eats

../images/Emo5.gif beware of what your baby eats

Here is an important article for all of you to read: From fresh fruit to ready meals, from baby formula to sausages, the food we eat is getting sweeter. Why? And should we be worried? Felicity Lawrence examines the sugaring of the British palate Thursday February 15, 2007 The Guardian ---------------------------------------------------------- We are born with an attraction to sweetness, taking our first gulps of it in the womb, when we swallow amniotic fluid. The evolutionary explanation is that this is how we learned to distinguish foods that are generally safe - since there is nothing in nature that is sweet and poisonous - from bitter edibles that may contain toxins. Breast milk, too, is sweet. But flavours from the mother's diet during pregnancy and after birth are transmitted both to the amniotic fluid and to breast milk, so that breast-fed babies experience not only sweetness but a wide range of tastes from sour to spicy. This early exposure to a varied diet makes them more likely than bottle-fed babies to try a range of new flavours later. ---------------------------------------------------------- The food industry, of course, is reluctant to surrender the power this sweetness has over its young customers. Global standards for foods are set by the international Codex Alimentarius Commission and these are increasingly used as benchmarks in World Trade organisation meetings. At the last meeting of Codex in November 2006, the Thai government introduced a proposal to reduce the levels of sugars in baby foods from the existing maximum of 30% to 10%, as part of the global fight against obesity. The proposal was blocked by the US and the EU. Patti Rundall, policy director of Baby Milk Action group, is convinced such early exposure to refined sugars is how babies get hooked on sweetness at the point at which they would otherwise be weaned off it. "You are altering the taste profile and palate of babies. Follow-on formulas are often incredibly sweet, and can contain 60% more sugars than regular milk." She points out that several research studies have shown correlations between bottle feeding and subsequent obesity. "A bottle-fed baby consumes 30,000 more calories over its first eight months than a breast-fed one. That's the calorie equivalent of 120 average chocolate bars. It's hugely important to obesity."​