A dialectic on the new USDA no ‘Added Sugar’ recommendations.
Have you heard of a Dialectic?
It’s the tension between two contradictory viewpoints. Where there are two opposing viewpoints on the same topic and both are true at the same time.
That’s how I feel about the latest USDA Dietary Recommendations for Infants 0–2yrs.
I’m both ecstatic and disappointed.
I’m ecstatic that there’s finally acknowledgement that NO added sugar should be given to a baby. It’s huge. And about time. It’s the first time experts believe that there was no ‘big industry’ influence in the recommendations. Which also makes me wonder, why did it take so long to get unbiased advice into what’s best for our babies’ health? Nevertheless, better late than never. It’s recommendations like this that then make its way into popular media and educate parents on scientifically backed best practices for feeding our little ones. Superb.
But at the same time…..
I’m disappointed to see this reductionist proposal that ‘Breast is Best’ because of health outcomes with formula fed babies?. This is a very heated topic, mostly because, when it comes to breastmilk, not all parents are given the choice. Putting out a best practice and even headlines that breastmilk will result in a ‘healthier’ child is setting many many parents up for disappointment and failure. 83% to be exact.
I can make a choice to feed my toddler ‘added sugar’ when it comes to food. Now I know that ‘no’ amount is good.
I do not have a choice if I can’t breastfeed my baby, I need to choose formula. Now I know that I’m hurting their long term health.
So instead of challenging formula companies to do better, we are placing blame on moms for not being able to breastfeed. Where’s the rationale in that?
It’s hard enough being a parent — — to then have a government recommendation say that ‘the thing’ you have zero control over is going to unfortunately hurt your child’s health into adulthood is horrible. Media & researchers need to be more careful with such brush stroke summaries, it only furthers the judgement and stigma for those that can’t breastfeed. To be fair … the lengthy and thoughtfully published report doesn’t suggest breastfeeding should happen at all costs but when the digested summary ends up in main stream publications extrapolating from the research that ‘breast is best’, you best believe that every new mom will hang their hopes on that.
Rather than bucketing the only substitute to breast milk into a ‘not good’ category maybe we should be asking how we make them better — why is Corn Syrup still allowed in formula for healthy term infants? Why is DHA not mandatory?
Here’s my proposal: Let’s hold the only options available more accountable for being better — so we, parents, can give our best.
Excited to be at the forefront with bobbie in doing better. More to come on that soon.
in reference to:
Laura Modi is the CEO & Co-Founder of bobbie, a VC backed baby company launching a premium baby formula on the US market — and fighting the stigma, one story at a time. bobbie has not yet launched. Documenting from concept to creation, Laura and the team will be sharing the journey behind bobbie.