New Clinical Research Shows Need For Baby Formula Education

         New Clinical Research Shows Need For Baby Formula Education

Switching Baby Formula is Safe; Watering down Formula or Reducing Feedings is

PR Newswire

GORDONSVILLE, Va., Dec. 5, 2012

GORDONSVILLE, Va., Dec. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --According to a study published
earlier this year in Clinical Pediatrics,* two-thirds of families in the
federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children
(WIC) run out of WIC-supplied baby formula toward the end of most months.
Among these families, 27 percent reported "formula-stretching" – watering down
infant formula or reducing feedings – which can have serious health and
developmental consequences for babies.

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Furthermore, the study found that 50 percent of the caregivers mistakenly
believe Store Brand Formulas and name brand formulas are not nutritionally
comparable, while only 24% would consider buying a Store Brand Formula.

Another study conducted by pediatric medical researchers at the University of
Virginia (U. Va.) looked into the tolerance of switching between different
brands of infant formula. The study proved that switching baby formula is
safe; infants did not have tolerance issues when switched from one formula to
another regardless of brand. In addition, gradual versus immediate switching
made no difference in tolerance.

The abstract from their clinical study, The Safety of Formula Switching for
Infants, was presented at the University of Virginia Children's Hospital 24^th
Annual Research Symposium, a conference that celebrates research at U.Va. that
improves the health of infants and children.

"First of all it is important to emphasize that human breast milk is the gold
standard for infant feeding. For women who choose, for a variety of reasons to
use infant formulas instead of breast milk, we designed this randomized,
placebo-controlled, blinded study to address concerns that had been overlooked
in the literature on infant feeding," said James L. Sutphen, M.D., Ph.D.,
U.Va. Department of Pediatrics and lead study researcher. "First, there are no
switch studies in the literature that include Store Brand Formula. Also, there
is little information regarding the optimal manner to switch between formulas.
Store brand infant formulas, such as Walmart's Parents Choice™, Target's up &
up®, Kroger's Comforts®, and Sam's Club's Simply Right™, are nutritionally
comparable to national brands such as Enfamil® and Similac®, yet are typically
half the price and can save parents up to $600 a year.** Although not
supported by medical research studies, pediatricians often advise parents
and/or guardians to switch baby formula for a variety of formula tolerance
issues including colic, frequent spit-up and loose stools. However, in
otherwise healthy infants, these formula switches, if they work at all,
probably work by virtue of placebo effect."

The blinded study involved 67 infants who were randomized in groups of three
according to the formula they were accustomed to being fed. The infants were
then switched to a different brand formula or the exact same formula packaged
differently. Each infant was observed during a four-day interval followed by a
three-day transitional period to the new formula. The caregiver decided how to
do the switch (e.g. staged or abrupt introduction of the new formula).

Caregivers documented tolerance variables (spit, burp, gas, crying, and
irritability) throughout all study intervals. Study results proved formula
tolerability regardless of brand, is similar between standard, milk-based
infant formulas in healthy, term infants, as depicted in Figure 1.

The milk-based infant formulas used in the study were Similac® Advance®
(Abbott Nutrition), Enfamil Premium® (Mead Johnson Nutrition) and Parent's
Choice™ Infant Formula (Walmart Store Brand Formula).

"Our study shows that parents can safely switch to a less expensive Store
Brand Formula without concern for tolerability," said Dr. Sutphen. "Store
Brand Formula is sold at leading retailers and is a low-cost alternative to
national brands and is just as well tolerated as major brands.

Recent statistics highlight the reality of formula use and the need for
formula switching education. There is little support for the concept that
these switches achieve any benefit. However, the practice is still widespread.

According to research published in the July 2012 Pediatrics,*** researchers at
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed 1,457 pregnant women
about their intentions for exclusive breastfeeding and found that only 32.4%
of the moms breastfed for as long as they had intended (three months or
longer). Additional research by Forerunner Strategy found that 37% of moms
switch their baby from one formula to another at some point, while 58% of moms
switch among national brands even though Store Brand Formula is clinically
proven to be as well tolerated as national brand formulas.

"Based on the data in our study, there was no statistically significant
difference in tolerance variables if infants are switched to a new infant
formula," added Dr. Sutphen. "Switching between different brands of formula is
well tolerated and we discovered there is no advantage to gradually switching
versus immediately switching baby formula". All infant formulas sold in the
United States are nutritionally comparable and are required to meet the same
stringent quality and nutritional requirements. This latest research should
help educate pediatricians and families and prevent formula stretching in the

This clinical study was funded by PBM Nutritionals, maker of Store Brand
Formula. For more information, visit

Breastfeeding is recommended for babies.

Similac® and Advance® are registered trademarks of Abbott Laboratories.
Enfamil Premium® is a registered trademark of Mead Johnson & Co. Parent's
Choice Infant Formula is neither made by nor affiliated with Abbott
Laboratories or Mead Johnson & Co.

* Clin Pediatr (Phila).2012 Mar;51(3):238-43.

** Retail prices are from an August 2012 retail price survey of national
retail stores. Actual prices and savings may vary by store and location.

***PEDIATRICSVol. 130No. 1July 1, 2012pp. 54 -60

SOURCE Perrigo Nutritionals

Contact: Stacy Becker, +1-212-938-0166,
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