Summary Background Objectives Workpackages
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  • To test the primary hypothesis that a possible causal factor for the difference in long-term obesity risk between breast and formula fed infants is the much lower protein content of breast milk compared to infant formulae.
  • To do this by performing a double blind randomised multicentre intervention trial in healthy infants, comparing isocaloric infant formulae with high and low protein contents, balanced by fat. 
  • To validate the primary hypothesis with epidemiological observational studies evaluating the effects of different habitual protein intakes with traditional complementary feeding regimes in infants in the same 5 countries.
  • To evaluate the relationship between different types of infant feeding regimes on a novel, early anthropometric marker, namely the difference between length at two years and length at birth, or later obesity development.
  • To investigate the effects of these infant feeding regimes on body composition, energy expenditure, physical activity, protein metabolism, renal function, leptin and its binding protein and on insulin like growth factor1.
  • To disseminate the results widely to the user communities.
  • To explore effective preventive strategies by modification of the composition and use of dietary products for infants and thus contribute to significant potential health benefits for the European population.

Expected achievements:

  • Improved health and quality of life by preventing childhood obesity,
  • Promotion of the benefits of breast-feeding,
  • A better understanding of consumer (parental) attitudes to infant feeding.


  • The potential for the development of new infant foods (formula and complementary foods),
  • The provision of safety data for infant formula with adequate protein content,
  • The provision of information for the training of health professionals to make it easier for them to advise consumers about infant feeding.