Unintentional error in formula preparation and its simulated impact on infant weight and adiposity

Abby D. Altazan, L. Anne Gilmore, Juen Guo, David M. Rosenberg, Danielle Toupo, Aaron Gowins, Jeffrey H. Burton, Robbie A. Beyl, Carson C. Chow, Kevin D. Hall, Leanne M. Redman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Accelerated weight gain in infancy is a public health issue and is likely due to feeding behaviours. Objectives: To test the accuracy of individuals to dispense infant formula as compared with recommended serving sizes and to estimate the effect of dispensing inaccuracy on infant growth. Methods: Fifty-three adults dispensed infant formula powder for three servings of 2, 4, 6, and 8 fl oz bottles, in random order. The weight of dispensed infant formula powder was compared with the recommended serving size weight on the nutrition label. A novel mathematical model was used to estimate the impact of formula dispensing on infant weight and adiposity. Results: Nineteen percent of bottles (20 of 636) prepared contained the recommended amount of infant formula powder. Three percent were underdispensed, and 78% of bottles were overdispensed, resulting in 11% additional infant formula powder. Mathematical modelling feeding 11% above energy requirements exclusively for 6 months for male and female infants suggested infants at the 50th percentile for weight at birth would reach the 75th percentile with increased adiposity by 6 months. Conclusions: Inaccurate measurement of infant formula powder and overdispensing, which is highly prevalent, specifically, may contribute to rapid weight gain and increased adiposity in formula-fed infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12564
JournalPediatric Obesity
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • feeding
  • infant formula
  • infant growth
  • mathematical modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Health Policy
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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