One of the issues Dr. Lustig points to in his crusade against fructose is that of the obesity epidemic amongst 6 month olds. Surely they can't be "eating more and moving less" like the rest of us, so there must be some bogey man here. He points to sucrose in one brand of formula. This got me to looking into whether or not there was a link between breastfeeding and obesity. The results of numerous studies are inconclusive except for controlled studies limiting protein content. So this got me to thinking of the usual tactic of correlating trends to identify the culprit. One would expect a negative relationship between breastfeeding rates and obesity rates, when in fact the opposite seems to be the case.
Formula feeding was even more popular in the 50's, and I've seen the resurging breastfeeding rates continue through at least 2003. It hardly seems plausible, given the varied contents of formulas, that fructose in formula is singly responsible for the obesity of 6 month olds ... it may not even be a factor, let alone the factor.
But here's an interesting study I came across: http://www.nutritionj.com/content/4/1/17
Infants born to obese biological mothers consumed more energy, and energy as carbohydrate, than their normal weight counterparts (Table 3). Three, out of the four infants born to obese biological mothers consumed complementary foods. The amount of energy consumed from complementary foods by these infants of obese biological mothers was 18.3 ± 2.5 kcal/kg. This was in addition to the energy intake of 69.1 ± 20.3 kcal/kg from formula for these same infants. However, energy intake from protein and fat, for both complementary feedings and formula, were similar among the two groups (Table 3). The amount of formula intake was also similar (90.1 ± 16.3 vs. 98.9 ± 35.4 ml/kg) between the infants born to obese and the normal weight biological mothers. There was a significant (p < 0.05) correlation between total energy intake and maternal body weight (r = -0.73; p < 0.06; Figure 2a).
Could it be that we're experiencing a generational "multiplier" of sorts? Whatever it is, I think they should take a closer look at expanding studies of this nature. Bottom line, it may well be that obese babies ARE just eating more.