Some evidence on the impact of marketing on infant feeding decisions

None of this is in any particular order yet – sorry


A rapid evidence assessment Does marketing of commercially available complementary foods affect infant and young child feeding? Commissioned by the World Health Organization  May 2015


This review summarises a diverse body of literature addressing the association between marketing of commercially available complementary foods (CACF)  on  infant and young child  (IYC)  caregiver attitudes and behaviours on optimal  infant and young child feeding (IYCF). This body  of literature describes caregiver use of CACF and indicates that marketing of CACF can move caregivers away from optimal IYCF practices. There is insufficient evidence to conclude that marketing of CACF is not undermining optimal IYCF. Our review of reviews confirms that evidence exists from high quality studies on marketing of health-related products, such as tobacco, alcohol, pharmaceuticals, BMS, and marketing of foods to children, that marketing is effective, and conversely for most of these products, that comprehensive and evidence based regulation works to constrain it. There is no specific evidence to suggest that such findings are not applicable to the marketing or social marketing of commercial IYC food products.


Advertisements of follow-on formula and their perception by pregnant women and mothers in Italy

Adriano Cattaneo,1 Paola Pani,1 Claudia Carletti,1 Margherita Guidetti,2

Valentina Mutti,3 Cecilia Guidetti,4 Alessandra Knowles,1 on behalf of the Follow-on

Formula Research Group

Conclusion: Advertisements of follow-on formula are perceived by pregnant women and mothers as promoting infant formula.



Marketing Infant Formula Through Hospitals: the Impact of Commercial Hospital Discharge Packs on Breastfeeding

ajph08rosenberg (Am J Public Health. 2008;98:290–295. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2006.103218)

Kenneth D. Rosenberg, MD, MPH, Carissa A. Eastham, MS, Laurin J. Kasehagen, PhD, MA, and Alfredo P. Sandoval, MBA, MS

Conclusions. Commercial hospital discharge packs are one of several factors that influence breastfeeding duration and exclusivity. The distribution of these packs to new mothers at hospitals is part of a longstanding marketing campaign by infant formula manufacturers and implies hospital and staff endorsement of infant formula. Commercial hospital discharge pack distribution should be reconsidered in light of its negative impact on exclusive breastfeeding.


The Impact of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes on WHO-Recommended Breastfeeding Practices Ellen G. Piwoz, ScD1 and Sandra L. Huffman, ScD2

Ellen G. Piwoz, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 1300 I Street NW, Suite 200, Washington DC, 20005, USA. Email:


Hospital Discharge Bags and Breastfeeding at 6 Months: Data from the Infant Feeding Practices Study

Radha Sadacharan, Xena Grossman, Stephanie Matlak and Anne Merewood, J Hum Lact published online 4 December 2013

Conclusion: The vast majority of new mothers received formula sample packs at discharge, and this was associated with reduced exclusive breastfeeding at 10 weeks and 6 months. Bags containing breastfeeding supplies or no bag at all were positively associated with exclusive breastfeeding at 10 weeks and 6 months.


The Association of Prenatal Media Marketing Exposure Recall with Breastfeeding Intentions, Initiation, and Duration

Yuanting Zhang, PhD1, Ewa Carlton, MA1, and Sara B. Fein, PhD1

 Conclusion: Mothers who recall exposure to formula information from print or websites are more likely to intend to use formula or to intend to use formula earlier and are less likely to initiate breastfeeding than mothers who do not recall seeing such information.


Short report ssm11sobelPhilippines

 Is unimpeded marketing for breast milk substitutes responsible for the decline in breastfeeding in the Philippines? An exploratory survey and focus group analysis

Howard L. Sobela,*, Alessandro Iellamoa, René R. Rayab, Alexander A. Padillac, Jean-Marc Olivéa, Soe Nyunt-Ua a WHO, Manila, Philippines

After adjusting for education and economic indicators logistic regression analysis showed that, children were more likely to be given formula if their mother recalled advertising messages, or a doctor, or mother or relative recommended it. Those using formula were 6.4 (1.8e23.1) times more likely to stop breastfeeding before 12 months. The focus groups described how television advertisements, doctors and medical representatives enticed them to use formula.We conclude that two factors were strongly associated with the decision to formula feed: self-reported advertising exposure, and physicians’ recommendations



Marketing and sales of infant milks in the UK_July2016

Summary of  the latest marketing data from MINTEL on baby milks shows the importance of ‘brand’ and the volume of marketing being undertaken – if paediatricians link to brands through any mechanism at all then they give that brand a halo of scientific support.


Websites and organisations_July2016

First Steps Nutrition Trust Report  highlights how health professionals endorse the websites and information produced by companies


First Steps Nutrition Trust (FSNT)


Scientific and Factual report shows that If HCP support brands they are also supporting the advertising that  misleads.

This new resource  questions whether current advertising for health professions is  ‘scientific and factual’.  Promotion may be through advertising in magazines and journals, at study days, conferences, training workshops or through professional organisations. FSNT aims to stimulate healthcare professionals to be more critical of marketing materials and to review the scientific data for themselves and come up with their own conclusions on whether the data presented is in fact helpful. _______________________



ICDC report on the aggressive promotion of Young Child Formula  – so called ‘Growing Up Milks’ – and how they are driving the baby milk market.

GUMs V2 2016


Press release May 2016 –  WHA 69 


Arch Dis Child. 2006 May; 91(5): 383–385. 

PMCID: PMC2082719
Relationships between paediatricians and infant formula milk companies

Prevalence of Nutrition and Health-Related Claims on Pre-Packaged Foods: A Five-Country Study in Europe

Sophie Hieke 1, *, Nera Kuljanic 1 , Igor Pravst 2,3 , Krista Miklavec 2 , Asha Kaur 4 ,Kerry A. Brown 5 , Bernadette M. Egan 5 , Katja Pfeifer 6 , Azucena Gracia 7  and Mike Rayner 4

Nutrients 2016, 8, 137; doi:10.3390/nu8030137

CLYMBOL report on the recommendation of methodologies Oct 2015

3.6. Which Types of Foods Carry NHC?

“Foods for specific dietary uses” had the highest proportion of nutrition, health and symbolic claims (78%, 71%, and 24%, respectively). According to the classification scheme used in this study [23], this category includes foods intended for babies and infants (e.g., milk formulas and follow-on foods) but also meal replacements (e.g., diet shakes). In this sample, only baby foods were found.This corresponds to the findings reported in Table 3 where the highest number of claims found on a single product (17) was on two baby foods in Germany and Spain. It should be noted that the category of “Foods for specific dietary uses” only represents 2% (0.01%–0.03%) of all foods sampled in this study.


Enforcing the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes for Better Promotion of Exclusive Breastfeeding  Can Lessons Be Learned?
Technical consultation: “addressing and managing conflicts of interest in the planning and delivery of nutrition programmes at country level”
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