Chocolate-flavored Toddler Formula Pulled from Shelves

A chocolate-flavored formula geared toward toddlers was pulled after an uproar from parents and nutritionists claiming that sugar-laden flavorings are feeding the childhood obesity epidemic.

Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. promised to discontinue a chocolate-flavored formula after numerous complaints from parents and nutritionists.

The manufacturer claims that its Enfagrow Premium product contains additives that boost growth, brain development, and immunity for children 12 to 36 months old, but protestors say the health claims are unfounded and the high sugar content only contributes to the growing childhood obesity problem.

The formula maker said Wednesday that it will discontinue the chocolate drink, citing a misunderstanding and mischaracterization over the intended use of the product. Mead Johnson claims the drink has a “superior nutritional profile” when compared to other popular children’s drinks, like apple juice and grape juice, but target consumers misunderstood the role the drink is intended to play in a child’s diet.

According to a company spokesperson, the drink was intended for picky eaters who have recently been weaned off of breast milk and require “nutritional support” from their main diet. However, after the firestorm of criticism it received, the company decided to drop its new chocolate flavored drink, which was more associated with sweets than nutrition in the minds of those voicing their concerns.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has said that introducing toddlers to sweets can increase their interest in eating more sugary food while decreasing their interest in healthier food. Many doctors recommend that parents limit their child’s intake of sugary food and drinks of all kinds.

Mead Johnson will continue selling Enfagrow Premium vanilla flavored formula as well as three other unflavored drinks that have a much lower sugar content.

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