Breastfeeding rates: Is baby formula marketing to blame?

The Jakarta Post
Irma Hidayana

A new report by UNICEF, WHO and the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) has found that the aggressive marketing of baby foods or formulas is likely to contribute to the low rates.

The report on “Marketing of breast-milk substitutes” released last month revealed that to a certain extent, the promotion strategies and advertising of milk formulas and milk for children aged less than 3 years old can be blamed since the strategies and ads continue to undermine efforts to improve breastfeeding rates.

Many independent studies have also found that “line extension” marketing methods — in which each brand applies a similar design to all of its baby food products — have significant effects on the mothers’ decisions to use infant formula and toddler complimentary foods.

Indonesia with its large population of young children has been found to be an attractive target for multinational baby food corporations to market their products.

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