The availability, composition and marketing of baby foods in Europe


The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Europe has developed a methodology to identify commercial baby foods available in retail settings and collect data on their nutritional content, labelling and promotion. These countries included Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary and Israel.


Key findings include:

  • 28% to 60% of products were marketed as being suitable for infants under 6 months, violating the relevant Code* and Guidance**
  • In Austria, Bulgaria and Hungary, more than 4 in 10 products had 40% or more energy from sugars
  • Sweet flavours predominated in products which may affect infants' taste preferences and undermine healthy eating advice
  • 13% to 25% carried health claims despite the Codex guidelines
  • 16% to 53% of packaging was designed to appeal specifically to children rather than parents


WHO recommends that parents and caregivers need guidance on how to best balance their child’s diet while manufacturers should comply with the international Code and WHO guidance.


*International code of marketing of breast-milk substitutes
**Guidance on ending inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children

Posted: 18/07/2019 10:20:09 by Niall Grieve
Filed under: Guidelines, Infancy, Labelling, Nutrition, Parenting


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