This is a recent article on the outdated growth charts, and how it might contribute to obesity. And also touches on the benefits of breastfeeding versus formula-feeding. Here's an excerpt:
Mothers are being pressurised into overfeeding their babies by health visitors using out-of-date growth charts, a new study reveals today.
Scientists say the charts, which have been used for 30 years, may have contributed to Britain's obesity crisis because they are skewed towards the expected weight of babies fed on high-protein formula milk, who grow up to be larger than breast-fed babies.
Health visitors have been encouraging mothers to feed their perfectly healthy baby more than they need because the growth chart tells them they are in danger of malnutrition.
It means babies have been putting on weight too quickly - leading to obesity problems later in life. The most popular growth chart, produced by the US National Center for Health Statistics, was introduced in 1977 and similar charts are used in the NHS.
But when the chart was produced, rates of breast-feeding in the US had fallen to an all-time low of 22 per cent.
The out-of-date charts suggest a healthy one-year-old weighs between 22.5lb and 28.5lb - when in fact the true healthy weight is 21lb to 26lb.
The World Health Organisation has developed new charts, based on the healthy weights of breast-fed babies, which it hopes will be taken up by the NHS by the end of the year.
Peter Aggett, professor of child health, of the University of Central Lancashire, has been trialling new charts, said: "The reaction I get from breastfeeding mothers when I explain the new chart is one of relief, because they describe feeling heavy pressure from health visitors using the old charts to feed up babies they themselves think are perfectly healthy.
"The charts were prepared in the 1970s when more women used formula milk, and babies were introduced to solids much earlier.
"Breastfed babies grow at a different rate. There may be a time when they do not gain weight and health visitors using the old charts have been putting huge pressure on mothers, telling them their babies are not thriving and discoraging them from continuing breast feeding.
"There is a lot of suspicion that overfeeding in early life does precipitate conditions in adult life such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. The obesity of 30-year-olds nowadays could be down to the formula milk they were given."
Scientists have long speculated that children fed with high-protein formula milk are more likely to be overweight than those fed with breast milk or low-protein formula milk.
Last week Prof Koletzko announced the results of the most complete study into babies' weight which found a direct link with the type of milk used.
He monitored 1,000 babies in five European countries until they were two. It was the first study to take into account other factors such as the wealth and smoking habits of their parents.
At any given age, babies in the high-protein group weighed around twice as much above the norm as the heaviest babies in the other groups.
He said this is likely to be because high-protein formula milk contains more amino acids which encourage the body to produce insulin, which encourages fat storage in babies.
You can find the entire article here: