Ads for baby food & drink go against expert advice

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A new study of how food and drink for babies and young children is marketed reveals advertising often goes against the advice of health experts

The Baby Food FACTS report reveals that companies spent $77 million in 2015 on advertising infant formula baby food and toddler food on television, in magazines and the internet.

Researchers from the University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity say there is good news because the products offered were fruits, vegetables, and meals that are considered nutritious choices for babies and toddlers.

The problem arises when you consider nearly 60 percent of advertising dollars promoted products that are not recommended for young children—including snack foods with little nutritional value, sugar-sweetened toddler milk.

Rudd Center researchers said the ads emphasized individual nutrients and benefits for young children’s mental and physical development. Parents who follow their pediatrician’s recommendations for feeding their babies and young children usually do not need to buy many of these products.

Researchers from the Rudd Center also support experts who recommend no added sugar for children under the age of two.

The Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics do not recommend serving toddler milk as it has no proven advantage and is more expensive than serving whole milk to toddlers over one year.