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What is complementary feeding?

Summary of discussion paper1

A recent discussion paper by IBFAN-GIFA2 has been produced on complementary feeding in children. It aims to stimulate thinking and discussion - a "philosophical reflection to guide the policy process".

As an organisation, IBFAN's main concern is with the abuse and exploitation of parents and carers by companies who manufacture and promote industrially produced foods for babies. Just as one should avoid making statements like 'all natural food is good' it is too much of a generalisation to state that all industrialised foods are bad as some play a useful role in the world's contemporary modes of eating. It is when they are inappropriately promoted and marketed and suppress other food production and use, that they can have adverse effects on diets. The author observes how brands were established in the past to indicate trust in product quality, but that nowadays branding has been exploited to the extreme.

The author also discusses how:

The paper concludes by drawing on IBFAN's experiences over 30 years' of campaigns on breastfeeding and the regulation of marketing of breastmilk substitutes (BMS). Regulation of marketing has proved essential around BMS and the same applies to complementary feeding. Taking on this issue with a commitment to success will be difficult. It has to be addressed at political level.

Show footnotes

1What is complementary feeding? A philosophical refection to help a policy process. A discussion paper developed for the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) by Gabrielle Palmer. IBFAN-GIFA, 2009. Available at: http://www.ibfan.org/Gay_Palmer.html

2International Baby food Action Network - Geneva Infant Feeding Association

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Gabrielle Palmer (). What is complementary feeding?. Field Exchange 37, November 2009. p21. www.ennonline.net/fex/37/what

(ENN_3973)

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