Low-Protein Infant Formula and Obesity Risk

Stefanie M.P. Kouwenhoven, Jacqueline Muts, Martijn J.J. Finken, Johannes B. van Goudoever*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


Infant formulas have been designed to mimic human milk for infants who cannot be breastfed. The overall goal is to establish similar functional outcomes to assure optimal growth, de-velopment, maturation of the immune system, and programming of the metabolic system. However, after decades of improving infant formula, growth patterns and body composition development are still different in formula-fed infants compared to breastfed infants, which could contribute to an increased risk of obesity among formula-fed infants. It has been hypothesized that the lower protein concentration of breast milk compared to infant formula influences infants’ growth and body composition. Thus, several trials in formula-fed infants with different protein intake levels have been performed to test this hypothesis. In this review, we discuss the current evidence on low-protein infant formula and obesity risk, including future perspectives and implications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2728
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2022

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© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


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