Controversial Chocolate-Flavored Baby Formula Ends Production

Mead Johnson Nutrition announced Wednesday that it will stop production of its controversial chocolate-flavored infant formula.

The Illinois-based company made the announcement following criticism that the Enfagrow Premium chocolate toddler drink promoted child obesity.

"The resulting debate has distracted attention from the overall benefits of the brand," Mead Johnson said in a statement.

Mead Johnson, who marketed the chocolate version for children who are picky eaters, still claims that the product has a "superior nutritional profile" to fruit juice and flavored dairy drinks typically consumed by toddlers.

Released in February, the chocolate formula was widely criticized for contributing to an already rampant child obesity problem in the U.S.

"It's a baby milkshake," Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric obesity expert, told KKTV in Colorado.

"We have an epidemic of obesity in six month olds in this country," he said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 17 percent of U.S. children and adolescents ages two to 19 years are obese, according to results from a 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.