Are the Health and nutrition claims of your baby formula fake?
The History of Baby Formulas has been a Scandalous one
Early in the 1970s, social rights organizations started bringing the industry’s unethical activities to light.
Babies Mean Business, a 1973 exposé by The New Internationalist on Nestlé’s marketing techniques, detailed how the business hooked Third World moms on baby formula.
But the booklet “The Baby Killer,” which was released in 1974 by the London-based ‘War On Want’ organization, was what finally blew the lid off the baby formula business.
Infant formula has evolved over its 150-year existence, but compared to breastfeeding, it still carries health hazards for both the mother and the baby. Manufacturers work to reduce these hazards by altering the recipe, which is sometimes accompanied by nutritional or health claims that help differentiate the product or boost market value.
Several studies have found Enfamil to be harmful, causing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a severe and potentially fatal disease in premature infants. Both Similac and Enfamil have massively used baby formulas.
Up to 20% of mothers who are choosing infant feeding methods have a mental disorder during pregnancy or the first year of their child’s life, making them particularly vulnerable at this time. Health and nutrition claims are likely to aid in this process by reducing the perceived advantages of breast milk over formula. Aggressive baby formula promotion can affect decisions to use formula milk instead of breast milk.
It’s time to stop baby formula marketing practices that endanger our children.
Companies that manufacture formula milk frequently make deceptive promises, like:
- After 12 months of age, formula is necessary because breast milk is insufficient for older infants and children’s nutrition.
- Formula keeps babies fuller for longer, which promotes sleep.
- Formula products with added ingredients improve immunity and brain development.
- Breast milk quality also deteriorates over time.
- Well, they are all false. Both mothers and children suffer harm as a result.
- Following an extensive investigation in Bangladesh, China, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, the UK, and Vietnam, a new report from WHO and UNICEF has systematically uncovered instances of this from all across the world.
Using infant formula instead of breast milk has several acknowledged dangers:
- Increased infectious illnesses, such as respiratory tract infections and necrotizing enterocolitis, in the gastrointestinal system.
- Modified weight gain and intellectual growth
- Reduced breastfeeding length leads to an increase in maternal breast cancer.
- Formula contamination can have negative repercussions, such as bacterial infections or burn injuries.
- The increased cost of milk purchases
Commercial incentives and economic cost externalities
Infant milk formula requires mass production by the dairy industry, leading to the degradation of land and waterways and generating waste materials like plastic. Worldwide, millions of babies—more than two-thirds—now drink milk formula, with Asia seeing a sharp fall in breastfeeding rates. Studies of the ensuing greenhouse gas emissions have now revealed the startling extent of the harm to global health, which justifies taking immediate action to safeguard breastfeeding in all national contexts.
The idea that polyunsaturated fatty acids in infant formula promote cognitive development is one of the most widely spread in the US. This assertion is supported by a selection of outcome measures among less than 150 participants in a single experiment. In contrast, 11 trials with more than 1000 participants were included in a 2017 Cochrane review that concluded there was no obvious or consistent benefit.
Advocacy for public health plays a crucial role.
Few people question the size of the baby food market, particularly in large food exporting nations. Non-governmental organizations that support breastfeeding took the lead in the investigations and revealed the unfair vulnerabilities. In 2016, a groundbreaking study revealed that the emissions from only six countries in the Asia-Pacific region were equal to 6 billion miles of automobile travel. During manufacture, each kilogram (kg) of milk formula produced 4 kg of greenhouse gases (equal to carbon dioxide (CO2)). Much of this was from unnecessary baby formula. A recent study has shown that actual GHG emissions per kg are three times higher than these ground-breaking figures when considering the entire product lifecycle, including consumer use. Economic facts along with environmental and health concerns show the need for a strong public response.
In light of the current problems to population health and the environment, formula feeding is maladaptive behavior. By reducing environmental impact, breastfeeding protection, support, and promotion contribute to protecting both human and planetary health.
There are efficient and economical strategies and interventions for promoting breastfeeding and decreasing the needless use of formula. Such actions offer a rare chance to minimize the greenhouse gas issue while also enhancing human nutrition, health, and health equity.