Scientists at the University of Buckingham in Britain are working on a baby milk formula to prevent children from becoming obese, British media reports said Monday.
Tests on animals had found that large doses of the hunger-suppressing hormone leptin given during infancy permanently prevented excess weight gain, The Guardian newspaper reported, referring to an article in the Chemistry and Industry journal.
Adding leptin to baby milk could help children to stay slim and healthy, say researchers at Buckingham, who think that the new formula might be available within ten years, according to the paper.
However, critics say that obesity is a social not a medical problem and that people should change to healthier lifestyles instead of turning to chemistry.
But a leading researcher at Buckingham, Professor Mike Cawthorne, argues that there is nothing unnatural about the leptin-enriched baby formula.
"The supplemented milks are simply adding back something that was originally present: Breast milk contains leptin and formula feeds don't," Cawthorne was quoted as saying by The Guardian. – (Sapa-dpa)