In 2019, First Steps Nutrition Trust commissioned Swansea University to undertake an evaluation of parents’ perceptions of marketing of infant milks from a UK perspective. The new report: Marketing of infant milk in the UK: what do parents see and believe? is now available, produced by authors Professor Amy Brown, Professor Child Public Health; Dr Sara Jones, Research officer and Elisabeth Evans, IBCLC and Lecturer in Midwifery.
The authors surveyed over 1300 UK mothers and babies 0-12 months to explore the experiences of new parents in relation to infant milk adverts, including their reactions, perceptions and decisions.
A statement from First Steps Nutrition Trust read:
“Families are being misled and encouraged to buy more costly infant milks because of inappropriate marketing. As many families face financial uncertainty due to 10 years of austerity and the COVID crisis, we believe it is morally wrong that targeted marketing techniques encourage people to spend money they don’t need to on products making misleading claims.
We will be using this work, alongside other information we have been gathering, to support recommendations that current UK regulations on the marketing of infant formula, follow-on formula and infant milks marketed as foods for special medical purposes need to be strengthened in line with the WHO Code of marketing of breastmilk substitutes and subsequent WHA resolutions.”