A popular formula for toddlers available in chocolate and vanilla flavors is drawing fire from nutritionists and parents, notes the Chicago Breaking Business blog. Critics have slammed Mead Johnson Nutrition's Enfagrow Premium on the blogosphere—starting with Marion Nestle at Food Politics—as another gateway to childhood obesity. "What's next, genetically modifying moms to produce chocolate breast milk?" asked one parent on a forum on Momlogic.com.
Mead Johnson has argued that the health benefits of getting kids to drink milk outweigh the effects of the sweetening. But critics say sweet formula hampers a broader goal—instilling in kids early an appreciation for lots of dietary variety. "You want kids to be interested in eating a very very wide range of foods because variety helps create nutritional balance," says Nestle, an NYU professor of nutrition and public health. "You don't want them to think that every food needs to be sweet or salty."