Lancet Series on Breastfeeding 2023
Three-paper series outlining the strategies used by commercial formula manufacturers to target parents, health-care professionals, and policy-makers
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.
7 February 2023