The Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the Univeristy of Connecticut produces terrific reports. The latest is Baby Food FACTS: Nutrition and marketing of baby and toddler foods and drinks:
Infant formula companies have a marketing problem: breast milk is a better option, all formulas have the same nutrient composition by FDA regulation, and babies only need to use formula for a few months.
Baby food companies also have a marketing problem: babies can eat table foods (suitably ground or cut) and don’t really need the stuff in jars (convenient thought they may be).
The Rudd Center report takes a good hard look at the
- Contents of food and drink products marketed to parents for their babies and toddlers (up to age 3)
- The marketing messages used to promote these products
- Degree to which marketing messages correspond with expert advice on feeding young children
The findings: The nutritional quality is pretty much as advertised but nearly 60 percent of advertising dollars go for products that are not recommended for young children such as sugar-sweetened toddler milk, nutritionally poor snack food, and Pediasure, a high-calorie liquid nutrition supplement.
Here’s the full report
And here’s a summary