App to spread awareness against artificial baby food

App to spread awareness against artificial baby food
Highlights

A mobile application was launched to help people report the inappropriate promotion of marketed baby food around them, by enabling them to click pictures of advertisements, displays of such products and send them to an NGO which then may take required legal action.

A mobile application was launched to help people report the inappropriate promotion of marketed baby food around them, by enabling them to click pictures of advertisements, displays of such products and send them to an NGO which then may take required legal action.

The app, Stanpan Suraksha, developed by a breastfeeding protection watchdog, Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI), also allows the users to take assistance from a number of trained breastfeeding counsellors, during their during antenatal and postnatal period.

The app was launched by Minister of Tribal Affairs Jual Oram, AV Swamy and Arun Kumar Panda, Additional Secretary Health and Family Welfare and Mission Director, National Health Mission.

A report on the baby food formulae being unethically promoted by e-commerce sites and the baby food industry was also launched along with the app, which revealed many instances where the staff at the health facilities did not seek consent of the mothers before administering the formula to babies.

According to an online survey done by BPNI among 950 women who had given birth in private hospitals, it was revealed that babies of more than half of such women were given baby formula and at least two-thirds out of them had been given that without any attempt to seek the consent of the mother.

Among the top violaters of the Act, it named Nestle, Abbot, Heinz and Dannone, for continuing to mislead the mothers through various tactics. It also mentioned the misleading claims being found on the lables on the baby formula containers.

"According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), artificial feeding is an established risk factor for child health like causing more of diarrhoea, respiratory or newborn infections, allergies as well as obesity and adult health diseases like diabetes and heart disease," the statement said.

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