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1.  Violations of the international code of marketing of breast milk substitutes: prevalence in four countries 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1998;316(7138):1117-1122.
Objective: To estimate the prevalence of violations of the international code of marketing of substitutes for breast milk in one city in each of Bangladesh, Poland, South Africa, and Thailand.
Design: Multistage random sampling was used to select pregnant women and mothers of infants ⩽6 months old to interview at health facilities. Women were asked whether they had received free samples of substitutes for breast milk (including infant formula designed to meet the nutritional needs of infants from birth to 4 to 6 months of age, follow on formula designed to replace infant formula at the age of 4 to 6 months, and complementary foods for infants aged ⩽6 months), bottles, or teats. The source of the free sample and when it had been given to the women was also determined. 3 health workers were interviewed at each facility to assess whether the facility had received free samples, to determine how they had been used, and to determine whether gifts had been given to health workers by companies that manufactured or distributed breast milk substitutes. Compliance with the marketing code for information given to health workers was evaluated using a checklist.
Setting: Health facilities in Dhaka, Bangladesh; Warsaw, Poland; Durban, South Africa; and Bangkok, Thailand.
Subjects: 1468 pregnant women, 1582 mothers of infants aged ⩽6 months, and 466 health workers at 165 health facilities.
Main outcome measures: Number of free samples received by pregnant women, mothers, and health workers; number of gifts given to health workers; and availability of information that violated the code in health facilities.
Results: 97 out of 370 (26%) mothers in Bangkok reported receiving free samples of breast milk substitutes, infant formula, bottles, or teats compared with only 1 out of 385 mothers in Dhaka. Across the four cities from 3 out of 40 (8%) to 20 out of 40 (50%) health facilities had received free samples which were not being used for research or professional evaluation; from 2 out of 123 (2%) to 21 out of 119 (18%) health workers had received gifts from companies involved in the manufacturing or distribution of breast milk substitutes. From 6 out of 40 (15%) to 22 out of 39 (56%) health facilities information that violated the code had been provided by companies and was available to staff.
Conclusion: Violations of the code were detected with a simple survey instrument in all of the four countries studied. Governmental and non-governmental agencies should monitor the prevalence of code violations using the simple methodology developed for this study.
Key messages A simple multistage random sampling procedure can be used to interview women and health professionals to assess whether violations of the international code of marketing of substitutes for breast milk are occurring 3050 women and 466 health professionals were interviewed at 165 health facilities in Bangladesh, Poland, South Africa, and Thailand 97 out of 370 mothers in Bangkok reported receiving free samples of breast milk substitutes, infant formula, bottles, or teats compared with only 1 out of 385 mothers in Dhaka. In Bangkok health workers reported that 20 out of 40 health facilities had also received free samples. Most free samples were distributed by health facilities In Warsaw 56% of facilities surveyed were found to have information available for health workers that had been provided by manufacturers or distributors of breast milk substitutes in contravention of the code; 18% of health workers in Warsaw had received free gifts from manufacturers
PMCID: PMC28512  PMID: 9552947
2.  Differences in perception of the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes between pediatricians and obstetricians in Japan 
The World Health Organization International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes (WHO Code) aims to protect and promote breastfeeding. Japan ratified the WHO Code in 1994, but most hospitals in Japan continue to receive free supplies of infant formula and distribute discharge packs to new mothers provided by infant formula companies. The aim of this study was to explore the knowledge and attitudes of pediatricians and obstetricians in Japan to the WHO Code.
A self-completion questionnaire was sent to 132 pediatricians in the 131 NICUs which belonged to the Neonatal Network of Japan, and to 96 chief obstetricians in the general hospitals in the Kanto area of Japan, in 2004.
Responses were received from 68% of pediatricians and 64% of obstetricians. Sixty-six percent of pediatricians agreed that "Breastmilk is the best", compared to only 13% of obstetricians. Likewise, pediatricians were more likely to be familiar with the WHO Code (51%) than obstetricians (18%).
In Japan, pediatricians and obstetricians, in general, have low levels of support for breastfeeding and low levels of familiarity with the WHO Code. To increase the breastfeeding rates in Japan, both pediatricians and obstetricians need increased knowledge about current infant feeding practices and increased awareness of international policies to promote breastfeeding.
PMCID: PMC1560113  PMID: 16925828
3.  Role of the World Health Organization in the Promotion of Breast-Feeding 
Canadian Family Physician  1990;36:1546-1550.
In response to the global decline in breast-feeding initiation and duration rates, the World Health Organization has produced several documents to assist governments and health professionals to reverse the trend. The WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes addresses the detrimental influence of promotional methods by the infant formula industry. The recent WHO/UNICEF statement Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breast-feeding has been prepared to increase the awareness of the critical role that health services play in promoting breast-feeding. To implement these statements, health professionals must be convinced of the unequalled superiority of breast milk. Examples of benefits of breast-feeding and risks of artificial feeding are given.
PMCID: PMC2280117  PMID: 21233924
breast-feeding; family medicine; neonatal care; nutrition; obstetrics; pediatrics
4.  WIC's promotion of infant formula in the United States 
The United States' Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) distributes about half the infant formula used in the United States at no cost to the families. This is a matter of concern because it is known that feeding with infant formula results in worse health outcomes for infants than breastfeeding.
The evidence that is available indicates that the WIC program has the effect of promoting the use of infant formula, thus placing infants at higher risk. Moreover, the program violates the widely accepted principles that have been set out in the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and in the human right to adequate food.
There is no good reason for an agency of government to distribute large quantities of free infant formula. It is recommended that the large-scale distribution of free infant formula by the WIC program should be phased out.
PMCID: PMC1481608  PMID: 16722534
5.  Infant feeding, poverty and human development 
The relationship between poverty and human development touches on a central aim of the International Breastfeeding Journal's editorial policy which is to support and protect the health and wellbeing of all infants through the promotion of breastfeeding. It is proposed that exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding to 12 months, could prevent 1,301,000 deaths or 13% of all child deaths under 5 years in a hypothetical year. Although there is a conventional wisdom that poverty 'protects' breastfeeding in developing countries, poverty actually threatens breastfeeding, both directly and indirectly. In the light of increasingly aggressive marketing behaviour of the infant formula manufacturers and the need to protect the breastfeeding rights of working women, urgent action is required to ensure the principles and aim of the International Code of Breastmilk Substitutes, and subsequent relevant resolutions of the World Health Assembly, are implemented. If global disparities in infant health and development are to be significantly reduced, gender inequities associated with reduced access to education and inadequate nutrition for girls need to be addressed. Improving women's physical and mental health will lead to better developmental outcomes for their children.
PMCID: PMC2048939  PMID: 17953747
6.  Breast-Milk Substitutes: A New Old-Threat for Breastfeeding Policy in Developing Countries. A Case Study in a Traditionally High Breastfeeding Country 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e30634.
Developing countries with traditionally breastfeeding are now experiencing the increasing pressure of formula milk marketing. This may endanger lives and undermine the efforts of national policies in achieving the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals. We examined the use of, and factors for use, of all available breast-milk substitutes (BMS) in a country with a traditionally high rate of breastfeeding.
Randomised multi-stage sampling surveys in 90 villages in 12/17 provinces in Laos.
Participants: 1057 mothers with infants under 24 months of age.
Tools: 50-query questionnaire and a poster of 22 BMS (8 canned or powdered milk; 6 non-dairy; 6 formulas; 2 non-formulas).
Outcome measures included: prevalence of use and age of starting BMS in relation to socio-demographic characteristics and information sources, by univariate and multivariate analyses.
Of 1057 mothers: 72.5% currently breastfed; 25.4% gave BMS (10.6% infant formula); 19.6% gave BMS before 6 months of age (of them: 83% non-dairy or cereals; mean age: 2.9 months; 95% Confidence interval: 2.6–3.2). One formula and one non-formula product accounted for 85% of BMS. BMS were considered as milk by the majority of mothers. Thai TV was the main source of information on BMS for mothers. Lao Loum mothers (the main ethnic group) living in concrete houses with good sanitary conditions, were more likely than others to use BMS before 6 months (OR: 1.79, (1.15–2.78), p<0.009). Mothers who fed their infants colostrum at birth were less likely to use BMS before 6 months of age (OR: 0.63, (0.41–0.99), p = 0.04). Unemployed mothers living in rural areas were less likely to consider BMS better than breast milk.
In Laos, mothers with the highest socio-economic status are showing a tendency to give up breastfeeding. Successful educational strategies and advocacy measures should be urgently developed to promote and sustain breastfeeding in developing countries.
PMCID: PMC3276495  PMID: 22347392
7.  Breast-feeding policies and practices in Canadian hospitals providing maternity care. 
OBJECTIVE: To determine the extent to which policies and practices of Canadian hospitals providing maternity care are consistent with the World Health Organization (WHO)/UNICEF 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes and the WHO/UNICEF Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. DESIGN: Cross-sectional mailed survey. SETTING: Canada. PARTICIPANTS: Representatives of 572 hospitals providing maternity care across Canada were sent a questionnaire in the spring and summer of 1993, 523 (91.4%) responded. OUTCOME MEASURES: Self-reported implementation of policies and practices concerning infant feeding; hospitals were grouped according to location, size (number of live births per year) and university affiliation status. MAIN RESULTS: Although 58.4% (296/507) of the respondents reported that their hospital had a written policy on breast-feeding, only 4.6% (21/454) reported having one that complied with all of the WHO/UNICEF steps surveyed. This figure dropped to 1.3% (6/453) when compliance with the WHO code (distribution of free samples of formula to formula-feeding and breast-feeding mothers) was added. Hospitals in Quebec and the Prairie provinces were significantly more likely than those in Ontario to give free samples of formula to both breast-feeding (OR 2.39 [95% confidence interval (Cl) 1.39 to 4.09] and 20.22 [95% Cl 9.27 to 44.33] respectively) and formula-feeding mothers (OR 1.82 [95% Cl 1.07 to 3.11] and 8.03 [95% Cl 3.29 to 19.6] respectively), after adjustment for hospital size and university affiliation status. CONCLUSION: There are considerable variations in the implementation of individual WHO steps and provisions of the WHO code according to hospital location, size and university affiliation status. Very few Canadian hospitals meet all of the criteria that would enable them to be considered "baby friendly" according to the WHO/UNICEF definition.
PMCID: PMC1487952  PMID: 8800076
8.  Lessons Learned from the Implementation of a Provincial Breastfeeding Policy in Nova Scotia, Canada and the Implications for Childhood Obesity Prevention 
Healthy public policy plays a central role in creating environments that are supportive of health. Breastfeeding, widely supported as the optimal mode for infant feeding, is a critical factor in promoting infant health. In 2005, the Canadian province of Nova Scotia introduced a provincial breastfeeding policy. This paper describes the process and outcomes of an evaluation into the implementation of the policy. This evaluation comprised focus groups held with members of provincial and district level breastfeeding committees who were tasked with promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding in their districts. Five key themes were identified, which were an unsupportive culture of breastfeeding; the need for strong leadership; the challenges in engaging physicians in dialogue around breastfeeding; lack of understanding around the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes; and breastfeeding as a way to address childhood obesity. Recommendations for other jurisdictions include the need for a policy, the value of leadership, the need to integrate policy with other initiatives across sectors and the importance of coordination and support at multiple levels. Finally, promotion of breastfeeding offers a population-based strategy for addressing the childhood obesity epidemic and should form a core component of any broader strategies or policies for childhood obesity prevention.
PMCID: PMC3366612  PMID: 22690194
breastfeeding; childhood obesity prevention; policy; supportive environments
9.  Alternative Hospital Gift Bags and Breastfeeding Exclusivity 
ISRN Nutrition  2013;2013:560810.
The type of gift bags given to new mothers at the time of discharge from the hospital can influence their confidence in breastfeeding. Most hospitals in the US continue to distribute commercial gift bags containing formula samples despite the reported negative influence of commercial bags on the duration of breastfeeding. This study compared breastfeeding outcomes in women receiving three different kinds of gift bags at discharge. A prospective intervention study was conducted during 2009-2010 in New Jersey. Three breastfeeding cohorts were recruited and assigned to three groups: COMMERCIAL received discharge bags containing formula samples, BF-INFO received breastfeeding information and supplies, and PUMP received breastfeeding information/supplies plus a manual breast pump. Follow-up contacts were at 2, 4, and 12 postpartum weeks to determine breastfeeding outcome. The mean durations of exclusive (EBF) and partial breastfeeding were compared between groups using ANOVA. A total of 386 participants completed the study. The mean EBF duration (weeks) in the PUMP (n = 138, 8.28 ± 4.86) and BF-INFO (n = 121, 7.87 ± 4.63) were significantly longer (P < 0.01) than COMMERCIAL (n = 127, 6.12 ± 4.49). The rate of EBF through 12 weeks in PUMP was most consistent. The mean duration of partial breastfeeding showed similar results: significantly longer in PUMP and BF-INFO than COMMERCIAL (P < 0.01).
PMCID: PMC4045267  PMID: 24959548
10.  Marketing Breastfeeding—Reversing Corporate Influence on Infant Feeding Practices 
Breast milk is the gold standard for infant nutrition and the only necessary food for the first 6 months of an infant’s life. Infant formula is deficient and inferior to breast milk in meeting infants’ nutritional needs. The infant formula industry has contributed to low rates of breastfeeding through various methods of marketing and advertising infant formula. Today, in New York City, although the majority of mothers initiate breastfeeding (~85%), a minority of infants is breastfed exclusively at 8 weeks postpartum (~25%). The article reviews the practices of the formula industry and the impact of these practices. It then presents the strategic approach taken by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and its partners to change hospital practices and educate health care providers and the public on the benefits of breast milk, and provides lessons learned from these efforts to make breastfeeding the normative and usual method of infant feeding in New York City.
PMCID: PMC2443254  PMID: 18463985
Breastfeeding; Corporate influence; Infant; Nutrition; Infant feeding; Infant formula
11.  The tobacco industry's code of advertising in the United States: myth and reality 
Tobacco Control  1996;5(4):295-311.
The major American tobacco companies developed and agreed to abide by the Cigarette Advertising Code in 1964. The stated aims of the code were to prohibit advertising directed at young people, to prohibit advertising that used fraudulent health claims, and to assure compliance with the code's provisions through the establishment of an administrative arm and enforcement mechanism to prescreen and monitor all cigarette advertising. In the 32 years since the Cigarette Advertising Code's adoption, the tobacco industry has used the existence of this code and its revisions and promises of self- regulation in accordance with this code as evidence that it promotes tobacco use only in a responsible manner. The code has served as the basis of the industry's efforts to avoid further local, state, and federal regulatory oversight of its marketing activities. A historical review of cigarette advertising since 1964 indicates that the voluntary code's major provisions have been regularly violated in the spirit and the letter. The administrative and enforcement provisions of the original Cigarette Advertising Code were quietly dismantled soon after the voluntary code's adoption and were completely omitted from the revised code in 1990. The historical evidence indicates that self- regulation of cigarette advertising and promotion by the tobacco industry has been repeatedly given trials and has not worked. 

PMCID: PMC1759528  PMID: 9130364
12.  Re-assessment of selected Baby-Friendly maternity facilities in Accra, Ghana 
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) has been implemented in Ghana since 1995. At the end of 2011, about 325 maternity facilities in Ghana had been designated Baby Friendly. However, none had been re-assessed for adherence to the Ten Steps to successful breastfeeding (Ten Steps). The current study re-assessed six maternity facilities in Accra for adherence to the Ten Steps and the International Code of Marketing of breast milk substitutes (the Code).
Three independent assessors performed the re-assessment using the revised WHO/UNICEF external re-assessment tool (ERT) between April and June, 2011. All sections of the ERT were implemented, except for the HIV/infant feeding section. Assessors interviewed 90 clinical staff of the facilities, 60 pregnant women, and 150 women who had given birth and waiting to be discharged from the hospital. Additionally, observations were completed on neonate feeding and compliance with the Code. Data was analyzed to assess adherence to the Ten Steps and the Code.
In 2010, the six facilities recorded a total of 26,339 deliveries. At discharge, the weighted exclusive breastfeeding rate was 93.8%. None of the facilities adhered completely to the Ten Steps. Overall, the rate of adherence to the Ten Steps was 42% (range = 30 - 70%). No facility met the criteria for Steps One and Two. Only Step Seven was adhered to by all facilities. Overall compliance with the Code was about 54%. Trained staff attrition, high client-staff ratios, inadequate in-service training for new staff, and inadequate support for regional and national program monitoring were identified as barriers to adherence.
Poor adherence to Baby-Friendly practices in designated BFHI facilities was observed in urban Accra. Renewed efforts to support monitoring of designated facilities is recommended.
PMCID: PMC3832220  PMID: 24216173
Adherence; Baby-Friendly; Breastfeeding; Monitoring; Re-assessment
13.  Do infants fed directly from the breast have improved appetite regulation and slower growth during early childhood compared with infants fed from a bottle? 
Behavioral mechanisms that contribute to the association between breastfeeding and reduced obesity risk are poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the hypothesis that feeding human milk from the breast (direct breastfeeding) has a more optimal association with subsequent child appetite regulation behaviors and growth, when compared to bottle-feeding.
Children (n = 109) aged 3- to 6- years were retrospectively classified as directly breastfed (fed exclusively at the breast), bottle-fed human milk, or bottle-fed formula in the first three months of life. Young children's appetite regulation was examined by measuring three constructs (satiety response, food responsiveness, enjoyment of food) associated with obesity risk, using the Child Eating Behavior Questionnaire. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were used to test whether children bottle-fed either human milk or formula had reduced odds of high satiety and increased odds of high food responsiveness and high enjoyment of food compared to children fed directly from the breast. Current child weight status and growth trends from 6-36 months were also examined for their relation to direct breastfeeding and appetite regulation behaviors in early childhood.
Children fed human milk in a bottle were 67% less likely to have high satiety responsiveness compared to directly breastfed children, after controlling for child age, child weight status, maternal race/ethnicity, and maternal education. There was no association of bottle-feeding (either human milk or formula) with young children's food responsiveness and enjoyment of food. There was neither an association of direct breastfeeding with current child weight status, nor was there a clear difference between directly breastfed and bottle-fed children in growth trajectories from 6- to 36-months. More rapid infant changes in weight-for-age score were associated with lower satiety responsiveness, higher food responsiveness and higher enjoyment of food in later childhood
While direct breastfeeding was not found to differentially affect growth trajectories from infancy to childhood compared to bottle-feeding, results suggest direct breastfeeding during early infancy is associated with greater appetite regulation later in childhood. A better understanding of such behavioral distinctions between direct breastfeeding and bottle-feeding may identify new pathways to reduce the pediatric obesity epidemic.
PMCID: PMC3170240  PMID: 21849028
bottle-feeding; direct breastfeeding; satiety; obesity; child eating behaviors
14.  Monitoring compliance with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes in west Africa: multisite cross sectional survey in Togo and Burkina Faso 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2003;326(7381):127.
To monitor compliance with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes in health systems, sales outlets, distribution points, and the news media in Togo and Burkina Faso, west Africa.
Multisite cross sectional survey.
Staff at 43 health facilities and 66 sales outlets and distribution points, 186 health providers, and 105 mothers of infants aged ⩽5 months in 16 cities.
Six (14%) health facilities had received donations of breast milk substitutes. All donations were being given to mothers free of charge. Health providers in five (12%) health facilities had received free samples of breast milk substitutes for purposes other than professional research or evaluation. Health professionals in five (12%) health facilities had received promotional gifts from manufacturers. Promotional materials of commercial breast milk substitutes were found in seven (16%) health facilities. Special displays to market commercial breast milk substitutes were found in 29 (44%) sales and distribution points. Forty commercial breast milk substitutes violated the labelling standards of the code: 21 were manufactured by Danone, 11 by Nestlé, and eight by other national and international manufacturers. Most (148, 90%) health providers had never heard of the code, and 66 mothers (63%) had never received any counselling on breast feeding by their health providers.
In west Africa manufacturers are violating the code of marketing of breast milk substitutes. Comparable levels of code violations are observed with (Burkina Faso) or without (Togo) regulating legislation. Legislation must be accompanied by effective information, training, and monitoring systems to ensure that healthcare providers and manufacturers comply with evidence based practice and the code.
What is already known on this topicAll member states of the World Health Assembly have reaffirmed their support for the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk SubstitutesViolations by manufacturers of breast milk substitutes have been reported in industrialised and developing countriesWhat this study addsManufacturers of breast milk substitutes are violating the code in Togo and Burkina FasoThe levels of code violations are similar in a country with (Burkina Faso) and one without (Togo) legislation on the marketing of breast milk substitutesLegislation must be accompanied by effective information, training, and monitoring systems to ensure compliance with the code
PMCID: PMC140002  PMID: 12531842
15.  Awareness and reported violations of the WHO International Code and Pakistan's national breastfeeding legislation; a descriptive cross-sectional survey 
National legislation in Pakistan adopted the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes in 2002 to restrict the promotion of infant formula feeding. Our objectives were to assess health professionals' awareness of this law in urban government hospitals and describe their reports of violations, including receiving free samples, gifts and sponsorship.
Structured interviews were conducted with health staff between July and August 2006 at 12 urban government hospitals in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Peshawar including paediatricians, obstetricians, nurses, resident doctors, midwives and lady health visitors (LHVs).
Of the 427 health workers interviewed, the majority were not aware of the national breastfeeding law (70.5%; n = 301) or the International Code (79.6%; n = 340). Paediatricians, and staff who had been working for 10 years or more, were more likely to be aware of the law [OR = 7.00, 95% CI 3.12, 15.7 (paediatricians); OR = 2.48, 95% CI 1.45, 4.24 (10 years working)].
More than one third (38.4%, n = 164) had received small gifts such as pens, pencils and calendars; 12.4% (n = 53) had received sponsorship for training or conferences; and 15.9% (n = 68) had received free samples of infant formula from the Companies. Staff who were aware of the law were also more likely to report receiving gifts (OR = 1.64, 95% CI 1.08, 2.51) and free samples (OR = 1.86, 95% CI 1.09, 3.19).
Most hospital health professionals were unaware of national breastfeeding legislation in Pakistan, and infant formula companies were continuing to flout the ban on gifts, free samples and sponsorship for health staff.
PMCID: PMC2577086  PMID: 18928524
16.  Women's liberation and the rhetoric of "choice" in infant feeding debates 
This short essay examines infant formula marketing and information sources for their representation of "choice" in the infant feeding context, and finds that while providing information about breast and bottle feeding, infant formula manufacturers focus on mothers' feelings and intuition rather than knowledge in making decisions. In addition, the essay considers how "choice" operates in the history of reproductive rights, shifting the discourse from a rights-based set of arguments to one based on a consumerist mentality. Utilizing the work of historian Rickie Solinger and a 2007 paper for the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, I argue that the structure of market work, and not abstract maternal decision making, determine mothers' choices and practices concerning infant feeding. For true freedoms for mothers to be achieved, freedoms that would include greater social provisions for mothers, our culture will have to confront how structural constraints make breastfeeding difficult, as well as how the concept of choice divides mothers into those who make good choices and those who do not.
PMCID: PMC2526985  PMID: 18680577
17.  Breastfeeding and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid intake in the first 4 post-natal months and infant cognitive development: an observational study 
Maternal & child nutrition  2011;8(4):471-482.
The aim of this study was to examine infant feeding and the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) concentration of breast milk and formulas in relation to infant development. The prospective Pregnancy, Infection and Nutrition Study (n = 358) collected data on breastfeeding, breast milk samples and the formulas fed through 4 months post-partum. At 12 months of age, infants’ development was assessed (Mullen Scales of Early Learning). Linear regression was used to examine development in relation to breastfeeding, breast milk docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) concentration, and DHA and AA concentration from the combination of breast milk and formula. The median breast milk DHA concentration was 0.20% of total fatty acids [interquartile range (IQR) = 0.14, 0.34]; median AA concentration was 0.52% (IQR = 0.44, 0.63). Upon adjustment for preterm birth, sex, smoking, race and ethnicity and education, breastfeeding exclusivity was unrelated to development. Among infants exclusively breastfed, breast milk LCPUFA concentration was not associated with development (Mullen composite, DHA: adjusted β = −1.3, 95% confidence interval: −10.3, 7.7). Variables combining DHA and AA concentrations from breast milk and formula, weighted by their contribution to diet, were unassociated with development. We found no evidence of enhanced infant development related to the LCPUFA content of breast milk or formula consumed during the first four post-natal months.
PMCID: PMC3617566  PMID: 21615865
arachidonic acid; breast milk; docosahexaenoic acid; infant feeding; polyunsaturated fatty acids; breastfeeding
18.  Occult Pneumonia: An Unusual but Perilous Entity Presenting with Severe Malnutrition and Dehydrating Diarrhoea 
A three-month old boy was admitted to the Dhaka Hospital of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), Dhaka, Bangladesh, with the problems of acute watery diarrhoea with some dehydration and suspected dyseletrolytaemia, severe malnutrition, and reduced activity. Occult pneumonia was added to the problem list after demonstration of radiologic consolidation in right upper lung, despite the lack of clinical signs, both on admission and after correction of dehydration. The problem list was further expanded to include bacteraemia due to Staphylococcus aureus when the blood culture report was available. Severely-malnourished children may not exhibit typical clinical signs of pneumonia, and the possibility of existence of such problems should be remembered in the assessment and provision of care to hospitalized young children with severe malnutrition.
PMCID: PMC2928120  PMID: 20099765
Diarrhoea, Infantile; Dehydration; Infant nutrition disorders; Pneumonia; Bangladesh
19.  Enforcement of codes governing pharmaceutical promotion: What happens when companies breach advertising guidelines? 
Some or all of the promotional activities of pharmaceutical companies are typically governed through self-regulatory codes administered by industry associations. However, the conflicts between the commercial objectives and the ethical and scientific goals of promotion can potentially lead to serious weaknesses in the way in which these codes are enforced. This paper focuses on 5 critical aspects involved in the enforcement of codes governing pharmaceutical promotion: mechanisms for recognizing violations, composition of monitoring committees, sanctions for code violations, the quantity and quality of information in reports issued about complaints and code violations, and the circulation these reports receive. The Code of Marketing Practices of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Canada (PMAC) has serious weaknesses in all of these areas. Although the Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board's Code of Advertising Acceptance avoids many of the deficiencies of the PMAC code, it, too, has weaknesses. Proposals for strengthening the enforcement of both codes are offered.
PMCID: PMC1226955  PMID: 9033415
20.  Two-Year Morbidity–Mortality and Alternatives to Prolonged Breast-Feeding among Children Born to HIV-Infected Mothers in Côte d'Ivoire 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(1):e17.
Little is known about the long-term safety of infant feeding interventions aimed at reducing breast milk HIV transmission in Africa.
Methods and Findings
In 2001–2005, HIV-infected pregnant women having received in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, a peripartum antiretroviral prophylaxis were presented antenatally with infant feeding interventions: either artificial feeding, or exclusive breast-feeding and then early cessation from 4 mo of age. Nutritional counseling and clinical management were provided for 2 y. Breast-milk substitutes were provided for free. The primary outcome was the occurrence of adverse health outcomes in children, defined as validated morbid events (diarrhea, acute respiratory infections, or malnutrition) or severe events (hospitalization or death). Hazards ratios to compare formula-fed versus short-term breast-fed (reference) children were adjusted for confounders (baseline covariates and pediatric HIV status as a time-dependant covariate). The 18-mo mortality rates were also compared to those observed in the Ditrame historical trial, which was conducted at the same sites in 1995–1998, and in which long-term breast-feeding was practiced in the absence of any specific infant feeding intervention. Of the 557 live-born children, 262 (47%) were breast-fed for a median of 4 mo, whereas 295 were formula-fed. Over the 2-y follow-up period, 37% of the formula-fed and 34% of the short-term breast-fed children remained free from any adverse health outcome (adjusted hazard ratio [HR]: 1.10; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.87–1.38; p = 0.43). The 2-y probability of presenting with a severe event was the same among formula-fed (14%) and short-term breast-fed children (15%) (adjusted HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.75–1.91; p = 0.44). An overall 18-mo probability of survival of 96% was observed among both HIV-uninfected short-term and formula-fed children, which was similar to the 95% probability observed in the long-term breast-fed ones of the Ditrame trial.
The 2-y rates of adverse health outcomes were similar among short-term breast-fed and formula-fed children. Mortality rates did not differ significantly between these two groups and, after adjustment for pediatric HIV status, were similar to those observed among long-term breast-fed children. Given appropriate nutritional counseling and care, access to clean water, and a supply of breast-milk substitutes, these alternatives to prolonged breast-feeding can be safe interventions to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV in urban African settings.
Given appropriate nutritional counseling and care, access to clean water, and supply of breast milk substitutes, replacing prolonged breast-feeding with formula-feeding appears to be a safe intervention to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV in this setting.
Editors' Summary
The HIV virus can be transmitted from infected mothers to their babies during pregnancy and birth as well as after birth through breast milk. Mother-to-child transmission in developed countries has been all but eliminated by treatment of mothers with the best available combination of antiretroviral drugs and by asking them to avoid breast-feeding. However, in many developing countries, the best drug treatments are not available to mothers. Moreover, breast-feeding is generally the best nutritional choice for infants, especially in areas where resources such as clean water, formula feed, and provision of healthcare are scarce. And even if formula feed is available, formula-fed babies might be at higher risk of dying from diarrhea and chest infections, which are more common in infants who are not breast-fed. International guidelines say that HIV-positive mothers should avoid all breast-feeding and adopt formula feeding instead if this option is practical and safe for them, which would require that they can afford formula feed and have easy access to clean water. If formula-feeding is not feasible, guidelines recommend that mothers should breast-feed only for the first few months and then stop and switch the baby to solid food. One of these two alternative options should be feasible in most African cities if mothers are given the right support.
Why Was This Study Done?
Several completed and ongoing studies are assessing the relative risks and benefits of the two recommended strategies for different developing country locations, and this is one of them. The study, the “Ditrame Plus” trial by researchers from France and Côte d'Ivoire, was conducted in Abidjan, an urban West African setting. The goal was to compare death rates and rates of certain diseases (such as diarrhea and chest infections) between babies born to HIV-positive mothers that were formula-fed and those that were breast-fed for a short time after birth.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
HIV-positive pregnant women were invited to enter the study, and they received short-term drug treatments intended to reduce the risk of HIV transmission to their babies. Women in the trial were then asked to choose one of the two feeding options and offered support and counseling for either one. This support included free formula, transport, and healthcare provision. Babies were followed up to their second birthday, and data were collected on death rates and any serious illnesses. A total of 643 women were enrolled into the study, and safety data were collected for 557 babies, of whom 295 were in the formula group and 262 were in the short-term breast-feeding group. The researchers corrected for HIV infection in the babies and found no evidence that the risk of other negative health outcomes and death rates was any different between the formula-fed babies and short-term breast-fed babies. Looking specifically at individual diseases, the researchers found that the risks for diarrhea and chest infections were slightly higher among formula-fed babies, but this did not translate into a greater risk of death or worse overall health. They also compared the death rates in this study with some historical data from a previous research project done in the same area on children born to HIV-positive mothers who had practiced long-term breast-feeding. The mother-to-child transmission rate of HIV had been much higher in that earlier trial, but looking only at the HIV-negative children, the researchers found no difference in risk for death or serious disease between the formula-fed or short-term breast-fed babies from the Ditrame Plus trial and the long-term breast-fed babies from the earlier trial.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This study shows that if HIV-positive mothers are well supported, either of the two feeding options currently recommended (formula-only feed, or short-term breast-feeding) are likely to be equivalent in terms of the baby's chances for survival and health. However, women in this study were offered a great deal of support and the findings may not necessarily apply to real-life situations in other settings in Africa, or outside the context of a research project. In addition to routine care after birth, access to better drugs to prevent mother-to-child transmission in developing countries remains an important goal.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
Resources from Avert (an AIDS charity) on HIV and infant feeding.
Information from the US Centers for Disease Control on mother-to-child transmission of HIV
Guidelines from the World Health Organization on mother-to-child transmission of HIV
AIDSMap pages on breast-feeding and HIV
HIV Care and PMTCT in Resource-Limited Setting contains monthly bulletins and a database devoted to HIV/AIDS infections and prevention of the mother-to-child transmission of HIV
The Ghent group is a network of researchers and policymakers in the area of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV
PMCID: PMC1769413  PMID: 17227132
21.  Policy on infant formula industry funding, support or sponsorship of articles submitted for publication 
Despite current scientific evidence that artificial feeding is a harmful practice, unquestioned acceptance of breastfeeding as the normal or "default" method of infant feeding remains elusive in the industrialised world. Throughout the developing world the profound consequences of the aggressive marketing strategies of the infant formula industry since the end of the Second World War is well known. A key objective of the International Breastfeeding Journal is to promote breastfeeding through addressing issues that encourage breastfeeding initiation, duration and effective management. Informing this aim is the recognition of artificial feeding as a harmful practice that places infant health at risk. From this perspective it would be unethical for this journal to accept for publication any manuscript that has received funding, sponsorship or any other means of support from infant formula manufacturers. This stance is consistent with the journal's aim of supporting, protecting and promoting breastfeeding. It will also contribute to the promotion of a breastfeeding culture.
PMCID: PMC1821317  PMID: 17341315
22.  Breast is best for babies. 
Breastfeeding is the optimal method of infant feeding. Breast milk provides almost all the necessary nutrients, growth factors and immunological components a healthy term infant needs, Other advantages of breastfeeding include reduction of incidences and severity of infections; prevention of allergies; possible enhancement of cognitive development; and prevention of obesity, hypertension and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Health gains for breastfeeding mothers include lactation amenorrhea, early involution of the uterus, enhanced bonding between the mother and the infant, and reduction in incidence of ovarian and breast cancer. From the economic perspective, breastfeeding is less expensive than formula feeding. In most cases, maternal ingestion of medications and maternal infections are not contraindications to breastfeeding. Breastfeeding, however, is contraindicated in infants with galactosemia. The management of common breastfeeding issues, such as breast engorgement, sore nipples, mastitis and insufficient milk, is discussed. Breastfeeding should be initiated as soon after delivery as possible. To promote, protect and support breastfeeding, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) developed the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. Healthcare professionals have an important role to play in promoting and protecting breastfeeding.
PMCID: PMC2569316  PMID: 16080672
23.  Cheap and Nasty? The Potential Perils of Using Management Costs to Identify Global Conservation Priorities 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80893.
The financial cost of biodiversity conservation varies widely around the world and such costs should be considered when identifying countries to best focus conservation investments. Previous global prioritizations have been based on global models for protected area management costs, but this metric may be related to other factors that negatively influence the effectiveness and social impacts of conservation. Here we investigate such relationships and first show that countries with low predicted costs are less politically stable. Local support and capacity can mitigate the impacts of such instability, but we also found that these countries have less civil society involvement in conservation. Therefore, externally funded projects in these countries must rely on government agencies for implementation. This can be problematic, as our analyses show that governments in countries with low predicted costs score poorly on indices of corruption, bureaucratic quality and human rights. Taken together, our results demonstrate that using national-level estimates for protected area management costs to set global conservation priorities is simplistic, as projects in apparently low-cost countries are less likely to succeed and more likely to have negative impacts on people. We identify the need for an improved approach to develop global conservation cost metrics that better capture the true costs of avoiding or overcoming such problems. Critically, conservation scientists must engage with practitioners to better understand and implement context-specific solutions. This approach assumes that measures of conservation costs, like measures of conservation value, are organization specific, and would bring a much-needed focus on reducing the negative impacts of conservation to develop projects that benefit people and biodiversity.
PMCID: PMC3829910  PMID: 24260502
24.  Effects of feeding and social factors on diarrhoea and vomiting in infants. 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1987;62(5):445-448.
In a prospective study of infants and their feeding in south east Queensland, Australia, the incidences of reported diarrhoea and/or vomiting in breast, bottle, and mixed (breast and bottle) fed infants were compared from birth to 1 year. Up to 6 months infants who were given breast feeds, with or without other milks, had less diarrhoea and/or vomiting than those given bottle feeds only. Breast feeding seemed to protect the infant against possible introduced infections even when other milks were given along with the breast milk. After 6 months breast feeding did not reduce the incidence of gastrointestinal infection. In both upper and lower social class families infants given solids before 3 months had less diarrhoea and/or vomiting than those given solids later. Bottle fed infants aged 3-6 months in upper social class families had fewer gastrointestinal problems than those of lower social class families. This study suggests that up to the age of 6 months, in this population, breast feeding protects the infant against diarrhoea and/or vomiting, but other milks and solids can safely be given to supplement the breast milk. Breast feeding conferred no significant protection after 6 months.
PMCID: PMC1778392  PMID: 3606175
25.  Tolerance and Safety Evaluation in a Large Cohort of Healthy Infants Fed an Innovative Prebiotic Formula: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e28010.
the addition of oligosaccharides to infant formula has been shown to mimic some of the beneficial effects of human milk. The aim of the study was to assess the tolerance and safety of a formula containing an innovative mixture of oligosaccharides in early infancy.
Methodology/Principal Findings
this study was performed as a multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial including healthy term infants. Infants were recruited before the age of 8 weeks, either having started with formula feeding or being fully breast-fed (breastfeeding group). Formula-fed infants were randomized to feeding with a regular formula containing a mixture of neutral oligosaccharides and pectin-derived acidic oligosaccharides (prebiotic formula group) or regular formula without oligosaccharides (control formula group). Growth, tolerance and adverse events were assessed at 8, 16, 24 and 52 weeks of age. The prebiotic and control groups showed similar mean weight, length and head circumference, skin fold thicknesses, arm circumference gains and stool frequency at each study point. As far as the anthropometric parameters are concerned, the prebiotic group and the control group did not attain the values shown by the breastfeeding group at any study point. The skin fold thicknesses assessed in the breastfeeding group at 8 weeks were strikingly larger than those in formula fed infants, whereas at 52 weeks were strikingly smaller. The stool consistency in the prebiotic group was softer than in the control group at 8, 16 and 24 weeks (p<0.001) and closer to that of the breastfeeding group. There was no difference in the incidence of adverse events between the two formula groups.
our findings demonstrate the tolerability and the long term safety of a formula containing an innovative mixture of oligosaccharides in a large cohort of healthy infants.
Trial Registration: DRKS 00000201
PMCID: PMC3227609  PMID: 22140499

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