(WHO) A new report reveals details: The infant and young child formula industry spends more than $55 billion on marketing promotions. This affects nutrition in children and violates international agreements.
A survey by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) found that more than half (51%) of parents and pregnant women are targeted by companies producing infant and young child formula. Most of which violate international standards regarding infant feeding.
The report, “How does marketing of formula milk products for infants and young children affect infant feeding decisions?” used interviews with parents. pregnant woman and public health officials in eight countries This report exposes the unethical marketing strategies of the infant and young child formula industry. (now worth upwards of $55 billion) to influence parents’ decisions about infant food
This report found that Marketing of the infant and young child milk powder industry That includes various techniques such as aggressively reaching targets through online channels without supervision. Network sponsorship and helpline Organizing promotions and giving free gifts and other behaviors that affects the training and guidance of public health officials The information parents and health officials receive often leads to misunderstandings. There is no scientific evidence to support it. and violates international guidelines on the marketing of food for infants and young children. It is an international public health agreement approved at the World Health Assembly in 1981 to protect mothers from aggressive marketing by the infant and young child food industry.
“This report clearly shows that The marketing of infant and young child formula is still widespread. create misunderstandings and aggressive marketing is unacceptable,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “Urgent measures should be taken to regulate the promotion of such exploitative marketing and vigorously enforce laws to protect children’s health.”
The report, which surveyed 8,500 parents and pregnant women and 300 health officials in Bangladesh, China, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Vietnam, found that the marketing of infant and young child formula has reached 100,000. 84 per cent of women surveyed in the UK, 92 per cent of women surveyed in Vietnam and 97 per cent of women surveyed in China. This increases the likelihood that they will choose infant formula milk.
“False and misleading information about infant formula feeding is a major barrier to breastfeeding. which we all know Breast milk is best for babies and mothers,” said Catherine Russell, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). “We need strong policies. Legislation and investment in breastfeeding to ensure women are protected from unethical marketing. And they have access to appropriate information and support to care for their families.”
In all countries surveyed Women clearly express their intention to exclusively breastfeed. This ranges from 49 percent in Morocco to 98 percent in Bangladesh. However, the report further reveals that Persistent misinformation from marketing reinforces beliefs about breastfeeding and breastfeeding. It also undermines confidence in the mother’s ability to successfully breastfeed. An example of these beliefs is the need to give infants formula milk after birth. The fact that breast milk does not have enough nutritional value for the baby And the fact that some formulas have been proven to help in child development or boost immunity as well as the view that formula milk keeps babies full longer. and that the quality of breast milk will deteriorate over time.
Giving breast milk to your baby within the first hour after birth This is followed by exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. and continued until two years or later. It provides a good protection for the baby against all forms of malnutrition, including underweight and obesity. Additionally, breastfeeding serves as the baby’s first vaccine. This protects children from illnesses that are common among children. As well as helping to reduce the risk of breastfeeding women getting diabetes. obesity and certain cancers. However, worldwide only 44 percent of children under six months of age are exclusively breastfed. Global breastfeeding rates have increased very little over the past two decades. Meanwhile, infant formula sales more than doubled in the same period.
It was shocking when the report revealed that Many health workers in every country are exposed to the baby and young child food industry. To incentivize them to introduce new mothers through freebies, promotions, free samples. Research funding Organizing meetings and organizing various activities and seminars and even give a percentage of sales. which directly affects parents’ decisions More than a third of women surveyed said they Public health officials recommend specific brands of infant and child formula.
To meet these challenges World Health Organization The United Nations Children’s Fund and its partners are calling on governments to Public health officials and the infant and child food industry must stop promoting this type of exploitative marketing. and carry out the agreement which includes
- Enact, monitor and enforce laws to prevent the promotion of milk powder for infants and young children. To comply with international agreements This includes banning the nutritional and health claims of the infant and young child formula industry.
- Invest in policies and plans to promote breastfeeding. This includes providing paid leave to parents. in accordance with international standards and provide standard breastfeeding assistance
- Requesting the industry to make its intentions public. that international agreements will be complied with As approved by the World Health Assembly
- Public health officials are prohibited from accepting sponsorship from companies that market infant and young child food. Whether it is in the form of scholarships, awards, research funds, organizing seminars or various activities.