Archived—Project Summaries 2006-2007 - Infant Feeding Action Coalition (INFACT) Canada

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Toronto, ON
M5G 1B1
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1. Evaluation of the use and impact of nutrition and health claims for infant formulas and complementary foods on infant and young child feeding practices

$89,500

"Nutrition and health claims for infant formulas and complementary foods for infants and young children can be influential in the feeding decisions made by parents Nutrition during the early years has a lifelong impact on an individual's health and development. Consequently, the information about infant and young child feeding that parents receive must be based on fact and generally accepted, scientifically validated, information. Marketing needs should not influence critical nutrition information and subsequent decision-making".

Both the Codex Alimentarius and the World Health Organization (WHO) have set out recommendations regarding the use of nutrition and health claims for foods for infants and young children. Both prohibit claims, unless permitted by national legislation, and then these must be scientific, support national health policies and may not interfere with recommended optimal feeding practices.

INFACT Canada will research the use of nutrition and health claims made for infant formula and complementary food products marketed in Canada. The project will determine the legal authority; the scientific validity; and the impact of claims on consumer decision-making."

Methodology:

Collection of raw data:

A protocol for the collection of materials will be developed. This will document the sources and date all materials collected. Materials will be scanned and entered into a database for analysis.

  • INFACT Canada members will be selected across all parts of Canada and requested to submit promotional materials from all parts of Canada and from all advertising and health care venues using the required format. These will be submitted to the INFACT Canada office, scanned and tabulated.
  • The collection of data will be over a three-month time span from June 30 through to September 30, 2006.

Analysis of submitted materials:

  • All collected data will be catalogued according to type of advertising; classified according to the type of claim made and assessed according to compliance with Canada's Food and Drug regulations, Codex Alimentarius and the World Health Organization's International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.
  • Analysis of data will be concurrent with the collection process and through to October 31, 2006. Analysis will include a review of the appropriate scientific literature.

Impact analysis:

  • A survey to determine if claims impact on parental decision making regarding infant feeding choices. The survey will be developed with the assistance of a graduate student from the University of Western Ontario's Department of Statistics and Actuarial Sciences, under the supervision of a professor, (an expert in survey sampling theory and methods)