Infant product group criticises German ‘children’s milk’ findings

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition, Milk

Infant product group criticises German ‘children’s milk’ findings
An infant product and specialty nutrition association have criticised a German government agency report that found formulated milk products aimed at over-1-year-olds were no better than cow’s milk for containing misleading statements.

The German group Diaetzerband said the English translation of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) report implied the products in question included infant formulas and follow-on milks designed for under-1s, when it was only in fact children's milks for over-1s that were being referenced.

The BfR acknowledged the mis-translation that forced NutraIngredients to amend a story last week, and issued a reworked version of its statement to emphasise that its findings related only to “children’s or toddler’s milk”​ products aimed at 1-3-year-olds.

The reissued statement can be found here.

The findings

However the BfR did not change the essence of its finding that these types of formulated milks were any better nutritionally than regular cow’s milk for over-1s.

It concluded that the protein manipulation and addition of fatty acids, vitamins and minerals in infant drinks did not deliver nutritional bonuses to infants compared to normal dairy milk.

The BfR disputed claims made by many infant drink products that their reduced protein content can deliver obesity benefits to infants and later in life.

It is doubtful whether the reduced protein content of toddlers or children’s milk versus cow milk results in young children consuming altogether less protein per day,”​ the BfR said.

“It is anyhow at present not sufficiently proven scientifically that a reduced protein supply at the age of young children reduces the risk of obesity and adiposity in the later childhood.”

BfR president, professor Dr Andreas Hensel said: "From a nutritional and physiological point of view these special toddler milks are not necessary."

Diaetzerband was not available for further comment at the time of publication.

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