Title: The effect of Young Child Formula on growth, body composition and nutritional status
|Authors:||Clare R. Wall , Rebecca J. Hill , Amy L. Lovell, Misa Matsuyama, Tania Milne, Cameron C Grant, Yannan Jiang, Rachel X. Chen ,Trecia A. Wouldes, Peter SW Davies|
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Young children are not mini-adults, they have specific nutritional needs during the first 1000 days to ensure their optimal growth and development.
New scientific evidence shows that consumption of Young Child Formula (YCF)* with reduced protein versus cow’s milk, and with synbiotics, contributes to healthy growth and body composition development.
The study and its set-up
An investigator led trial studied the effect of a micronutrient-fortified YCF with synbiotics versus cow’s milk, on body composition of New Zealand and Australian children at 2 years of age.
The study was a multicenter, double-blind, randomised controlled trial in 160 healthy 1 year-old New Zealand and Australian children, conducted in 2015–2017.
The children were randomised into 2 groups, to receive either YCF or homogenised cow’s milk, both in powder form, and followed for 12 months.
The study was funded by Danone Australia and the product complied with the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand guidelines.
Children who consumed YCF with a lower protein content versus cow’s milk for 12 months, had a lower percentage of body fat at 2 years of age.
The investigators concluded that children who consumed YCF with a lower protein content in comparison to cow’s milk, with synbiotics, for 12 months, had a lower percentage of body fat at 2 years of age.
The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Dr. Clare Wall, from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and first author of the publication states:
“The reduction in overall dietary protein intake in the YCF group led to a small but significant reduction in body fat. Other literature has demonstrated that higher protein intakes in early life are associated with adiposity later in childhood. This research demonstrates that there is an urgent need to conduct further research to determine the optimal protein intake in the second year of life and to review current recommendations on milk intake at this time.”
Dr. Jacques Bindels, Research & Innovation Director Nutrition Evidence at Danone Nutricia Research in Utrecht, the Netherlands, emphasized the importance of the study and its findings as “An increasing amount of literature suggests that higher protein intakes in early life are associated with an increased risk of developing non-communicable diseases later in life. Therefore, adequate nutrition during pregnancy and the first 2 years of life has a profound effect on a child’s development.”
Please read the full publication here.
Secondary outcome of improved dietary iron and vitamin D status complements earlier findings of study in Europe
In addition, the secondary outcome of the study was that in comparison with cow’s milk, YCF significantly improved dietary iron and vitamin D intakes and the iron and vitamin D status of these healthy New Zealand and Australian children.
The full publication can be found here in the Journal of Nutrition
These findings are consistent with the findings of the IDEA study in healthy European children aged 12–36 months, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
More information about the IDEA study can be found on our website.
Iron and vitamin D deficiency is a legitimate concern in young children globally. A healthy balanced diet, vitamin D supplements and moderate sun exposure are recommended to prevent these deficiencies but these recommendations are sometimes difficult to follow in practice.
Both studies provide consistent findings on the role of YCF on nutritional status on vitamin D and iron in different populations in Europe , Australia and New Zealand.
* Young Child Formula (YCF) also known as Growing-Up Milk (GUM)