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Ladino, Liliana; Sanchez, Nathalia; Vazquez-Frias, Rodrigo and Koletzko, Berthold (2021): Latin American Considerations for Infant and Young Child Formulae. In: Nutrients, Vol. 13, No. 11, 3942

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Infant formula is the only acceptable substitute for breastmilk from 0 to 6 months old when human milk cannot be provided in sufficient amounts. Manufacturers have developed options that intend to meet the changing needs of the child aged from six to twelve months (follow-on formulae) and after the age of one year (young child formulae). The international code for marketing breast milk substitute stipulates standards for marketing practices of these products. In Latin America there are local variations of marketing practices. Novel marketing strategies such as advertising through social media and influencers pose new threats for breastfeeding success in Latin America. This review aims to examine variations in local regulations for marketing of infant formulae and to analyze the emerging phenomenon of influencer advertising. We reviewed the local norms for Latin American countries and examined differences and possible gaps. Emerging evidence of influencer marketing was explored. The results indicate that national regulations differ among Latin American countries, particularly with respect to product labelling and the requirement to use a local native language, highlighting the cost of the product, and different regulations prohibiting certain messages and illustrations. Regarding new marketing strategies, there is limited evidence on advertising infant formula through social media influencers, where different categories of marketing strategies can be described. More transparent reporting of social marketing by formula providers and more independent research on novel marketing strategies are needed.

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