Breastfeeding has proven health benefits for both mothers and babies in high-income and low-income settings alike. Yet, less than 50% of babies worldwide are breastfed according to WHO recommendations. For decades, the commercial milk formula industry has used underhand marketing strategies, designed to prey on parents’ fears and concerns, to turn the feeding of infants and young children into a multibillion-dollar business—generating revenues of about $55 billion each year.
This three-paper Series outlines the multifaceted and highly effective strategies used by commercial formula manufacturers to target parents, health-care professionals, and policy-makers. The industry’s dubious marketing practices—in breach of the breastfeeding Code—are compounded by lobbying of governments, often covertly via trade associations and front groups, against strengthening breastfeeding protection laws and challenging food standard regulations.
Breastfeeding: crucially important, but increasingly challenged in a market-driven world by Pérez-Escamilla et al.
Marketing of commercial milk formula: a system to capture parents, communities, science, and policy by Rollins et al
The political economy of infant and young child feeding: confronting corporate power, overcoming structural barriers, and accelerating progress by Baker et al
View the complete series
You might also be interested in:
- Breastfeeding Advocacy Toolkit: Paid leave & workplace policies
- The Curious Case of Baby Formula in the United States in 2022: Cries for Urgent Action Months after Silence in the Midst of Alarm Bells
Image Credit: GAIN