CHICAGO, Ill.-- It's no surprise that consuming excessive amounts of sugar can be bad for an adult's health.
But have you ever considered how much your infant child may be consuming?
There's a surprising place where information about sugar content is missing.
THE MATH THAT STARTS AT BREAKFAST CAN CONTINUE THROUGH YOUR ENTIRE DAY OF EATING WITH NUTRITIONAL LABELS AT EVERY TURN. IT'S EASY TO LEARN WHERE SUGAR IS IN OUR DIET, BUT THERE IS ONE PLACE WHERE SUGAR CONTENT ISN'T LISTED. MANY ARGUE IT IS THE MOST CRITICAL FOOD OF ALL.
"We looked at all of the formulas in the grocery store, even the store brand ones, and none of them listed the sugar grams per serving. None of them," said Nancy Brecj.
BRECJ IS A NEW GRANDMA. SHE SAYS SHE DIDN'T BELIEVE HER EYES WHEN SHE COULDN'T FIND SUGAR LISTED ON BABY KIMBERLY'S FORMULA.
"I called the company and I said how many grams of sugar per serving are in your baby formula? And, 'well, ma'am, we don't add sugar to our baby formulas."
WITH CORN SYRUP SOLIDS LISTED FIRST IN INGREDIENTS, BRECJ WASN'T BUYING THAT ANSWER.
"Why doesn't it list the grams of sugar?" she asked.
HER QUESTION BROUGHT US HERE TO AN INDEPENDENT LAB WITH SEVEN POPULAR BABY FORMULAS FOR TESTING.
SCIENTISTS DID A SUGAR PROFILE ON EACH SAMPLE TESTING FOR 5 TYPES OF SUGAR. AMONG THE RESULTS, ENFAMIL PREMIUM AND PARENT'S CHOICE PREMIUM INFANT FORMULAS HAD THE HIGHEST SUGAR CONTENT 13.5 AND 12.4 GRAMS PER SERVING.
A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT BUT THE BEST TYPE OF SUGAR... LACTOSE... THE KIND FOUND IN BREASTMILK. THREE TESTED LOW FOR ANY SUGAR: GERBER GOOD START, SIMILAC ADVANCE COMPLETE AND ENFAMIL PRO-SOBEE.
BUT TWO, BOTH MADE BY SIMILAC, DID CONTAIN OTHER ADDED SUGARS.
SIMILAC ADVANCE ORGANIC COMPLETE NUTRITION CONTAINED ONE OF THE SWEETEST KIND: SUCROSE, MEASURING IN AT 3.5 GRAMS OF SUGAR PER SERVING
SIMILAC SOY INFANT FORMULA WITH IRON CONTAINED FOUR KINDS OF ADDED SUGAR, INCLUDING SUCROSE, FOR A TOTAL OF 3.8 GRAMS PER SERVING... ROUGHLY THE EQUIVALENT OF ONE TEASPOON OF SUGAR EVERY 5 OUNCES
IN EUROPE, CONCERN OVER CHILDHOOD OBESITY LED TO A BAN ON SUCROSE IN BABY FORMULA. DOZENS OF COUNTRIES DO NOT ALLOW THE KIND OF SUGAR WE FOUND IN THESE TWO BRANDS.
"We're conditioning them to crave sweetness," said Pediatric dentist Dr. Kevin Boyd.
WHILE THE NUMBER OF SUGAR GRAMS MAY BE LOW, DR. BOYD, WHO HAS A MASTERS IN NUTRITION AND DIETETICS, SAYS THE IMPACT OF ADDED SUGARS ON BABIES IS HUGE.
"They're conditioned to just really like super sweet. And their fat cells are saying more, more, more please," Boyd said.
SOME OF THE FORMULAS SO SWEET-TASTING, BOYD CALLS THEM "BABY MILKSHAKES." A MAJOR FACTOR, HE BELIEVES, IN OUR COUNTRY'S BATTLE WITH CHILDHOOD OBESITY.
"If a child makes too many fat cells, they never go away. And they always want to be fed."