Nutrition

Clarification on the classification of follow-up formulas for children 6-36 months as breastmilk substitutes

Information note

Authors:
World Health Organization, UNICEF

Clarification on the classification of follow-up formulas for  children 6-36 months as breastmilk substitutes publication cover

Publication details

Number of pages: 4
Publication date: 2018
Languages: English
WHO reference number: WHO/NMH/NHD/18.11

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Overview

The International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes was adopted by the World Health Assembly to protect and promote breastfeeding by ensuring the appropriate marketing and distribution of breast-milk substitutes. The Code did not specify an age range for products that should be considered breast-milk substitutes, but it did indicate that infant formula was only one type of breast-milk substitute. In 2016, the WHO published guidance to clarify that breast-milk substitutes “should be understood to include any milks (or products that could be used to replace milk, such as fortified soy milk), in either liquid or powdered form, that are specifically marketed for feeding infants and young children up to the age of 3 years (including follow-up formula and growing-up milks).” This Information Note describes the rationale for this interpretation.