News article

Shaping a Healthy Future in the First Thousand Days

Posted:  Wednesday, May 29, 2013

At ESPGHAN in London on May 9, three renowned Professors revealed new insights on reducing obesity, preventing allergies and the overall effects of infant nutrition on long-term health.

The Nestlé Nutrition Institute symposium “Shaping a Healthy Future in the First Thousand Days” brought together three renowned professors: Prof Ekhard Ziegler, Prof Sibylle Koletzko and Prof Atul Singhal.

Together they highlighted the latest evidence of the effects of infant nutrition on long-term health.

Low protein formula to help against child and adult obesity
Prof Ekhard Ziegler’s presentation discussed evidence indicating the effects of high protein intakes during infancy on the risk of obesity during childhood. Many studies, including the European Childhood Obesity Project, clearly show that excessive protein intake leads to increased adiposity in infancy and beyond. Prof Ziegler also reported on a recent study comparing the impact of a low protein formula given to infants born to overweight and obese mothers. He concluded that “follow-on formula with protein content closer to that of breast milk may offer high risk infants protection against future obesity.”

Hydrolyzed infant formula to help prevent atopic dermatitis
Prof Sibylle Koletzko’s presentation reported on the German Infant Nutritional Intervention (GINI) study, the largest of its kind, tracking 5991 infants over a 10 year period. She reported that partially hydrolyzed whey formula and extensively hydrolyzed casein formula significantly reduce the risk for atopic dermatitis, one of the most common allergic manifestations in childhood. The effect persisted until the age of 10 years. The study results published in the  Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology can be viewed online on the Nestlé Nutrition Institute website.

The importance of balanced infant nutrition for long-term health
Prof Atul Singhal’s presentation focused on the impact of infant nutrition on long-term health and the importance of balance in nutrition not just to meet short-term nutritional needs. Topics covered the effects of under and over nutrition, faster and slower growth rates, optimising the pattern of infant weight gain, the risk/benefit of faster weight gain and the implications of nutritional programming for public health and clinical practice. His presentation also reviewed the impact of infant nutrition on the long-term risk of obesity and how lower protein intake in infancy might improve long-term risk of obesity and chronic disease.