New research has found that babies who are fed with enriched formula milk are more likely to be obese by the age of five.
The study, from University College in London, has found that faster weight gain in infancy can programme babies for life, putting them at risk of health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
It found that healthy babies given formula milk enriched with protein, vitamins and other nutrients had up to 38 per cent more body fat at age five than those who were fed on standard bottle milk.
New mums were once advised to feed underweight babies with enriched formula milks. However, they are now told not to fatten up their babies unless they are premature.
The study is published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers looked at two randomised controlled studies involving small babies in hospitals in Cambridge, Nottingham, Leicester and Glasgow.