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Philippines: Do Baby Food Manufacturers Comply with WHO Guidelines and National Legislation?

May 13, 2021

Westat has 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 this assessments is to contribute to better infant and young child nutrition by holding companies accountable.  The assessment in Manila included

  • Interviews with mothers and health professionals
  • Identification of informational materials produced by baby food companies available in health centers and 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 5 in-country assessments: Thailand, Nigeria, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India. The 6th assessment report on the Philippines is now released: National Assessment on the Compliance with the Code and the National Measures—Philippines 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 our in-country partner, Nutrition Center of the Philippines (NCP). In spite of the exceptional circumstances associated with the SARS CoV-2 pandemic, Westat and NCP were able to finalize the data collection without severing any of the components of the study.

ATNF coordinated a webinar with NCP and UNICEF to present findings to the Philippines government and other stakeholders on May 13, 2021, at 3:30 am (EDT).


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