Westat assessed whether baby food companies meet WHO guidelines and relevant national measures for marketing their breast milk substitutes (BMS) and complementary food (CF) products for infants/children younger than 3 years old. The study was commissioned by the Access to Nutrition Foundation (ATNF), a nonprofit organization based in the Netherlands, that will use Westat’s findings to inform its BMS/CF Index 2021.
An important component of these assessments is to contribute to better infant and young child nutrition by holding companies accountable. The assessment in Mexico City included
- Identification of informational materials produced by baby food companies available in retail stores
- Identification of sales promotions in retail stores and online retail platforms
- Analysis of product labels and inserts of all available relevant products on the local market
- Monitoring of advertising and promotions on traditional and online media
Since 2015, Westat has completed 6 in-country assessments: the Philippines, Thailand, Nigeria, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India. The 7th assessment report on Mexico is now released: National Assessment on the Compliance with the Code and the National Measures—Mexico Report (PDF). Westat’s Brenda Brewer, M.M.Sc., served as the project director, Raydel Valdés Salgado, Ph.D., M.P.H., as senior epidemiologist, and Alexander Evans as task lead.
Westat conducted this assessment in collaboration with Mexico City-based partner organizations, the Health Department at Universidad Iberoamericana, CDMX (IBERO) in collaboration with the Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP). In spite of the exceptional circumstances associated with the SARS CoV-2 pandemic, Westat and IBERO/INSP were able to make the necessary adjustments to implement the data collection with adherence to the guidelines recommended by local health authorities and the institutions involved in the study.
ATNF will coordinate a webinar with IBERO/INSP and UNICEF to present findings to the Mexico government and other stakeholders on June 29, 2021, at 9:00 am (EDT).