WHO/Europe studies find baby foods are high in sugar and inappropriately marketed for babies

Two new studies from WHO/Europe show that a high proportion of baby foods are incorrectly marketed as suitable for infants under the age of 6 months, and that many of those foods contain inappropriately high levels of sugar.

WHO’s long-standing recommendation states that children should be breastfed, exclusively, for the first 6 months. Its 2016 global Guidance on Ending the Inappropriate Promotion of Foods for Infants and Young Children explicitly states that commercial complementary foods should not be advertised for infants under 6 months of age.

“Good nutrition in infancy and early childhood remains key to ensuring optimal child growth and development, and to better health outcomes later in life – including the prevention of overweight, obesity and diet-related noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) – thereby making United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3 to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages much more achievable,” says Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe.