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In: Research Consortium for the Infant Feeding Study. The determinants of Infant feeding practices: preliminary results of a four-country study. New York, N.Y., Population Council, 1984 Apr 45-56. (International Programs Working Paper No. 19)The World Health Assembly, governing body of the World Health Organization (WHO), adopted a Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes in May, 1981. The question of what impact legislative, reggulatory, and voluntary actions by government and industry have had on the commercial marketing of infant food in Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya, and Thailand is addressed. The research was conducted between 1981 and 1983. This study of marketing activities was intended to analyze the direct effects of marketing activities and the interaction of marketing with other factors found to influence infant feeding practices. Research objectives were organized around 3 basic questions. 1) What are the characteristics of current marketing practices and strategies of infant food companies? 2) What factors account for the current marketing environment for infant foods? 3) What is the intensity of promotional activity at this time? Data was collected through interviews and a cross-sectional survey of mothers and infants. There have been 5 important trends in the way the marketing of infant foods has changed since 1981. They are: 1) an increased amount of price competition; 2) increased product availability; 3) discontinuance of consumer-oriented mass media advertising; 4) extensive promotion of commercial infant foods to health care workers, and through them to consumers; and 5) continued distribution of infant formula samples to mothers, directly or indirectly, many of whom live in a high-risk environment.
Lancet. 1984 Jan 7; 1(8367):23-4.The epidemic of tobacco smoking is quickly spreading to developing countries with the encouragement of UK- and US-based companies. A 1983 World Health Organization (WHO) report catalogues the evidence that the smoking diseases have already arrived in the developing countries. High death rates for lung cancer are reported from India, China, Hong Kong, and Cuba, and in the Bantu of Natal. Coronary heart disease associated with cigarette smoking is a major feature in India, Pakistan, and the Philippines. Perinatal mortality rates are doubled in Bangladesh women who smoke. WHO makes a strong appeal for effective change. The question is whether governments and health ministries will face up to this challenge any more than they did to 2 earlier WHO reports on smoking. Developing countries are now urged to give high priority to smoking control activities. Although malnutrition and infectious diseases may seem to be more pressing, only action now can prevent their exacerbation by smoking-related diseases. Each country should establish a central agency with responsibility for smoking control action. Special steps should be taken to safeguard the health of children through educational programs. The sale of cigarettes to minors should be prohibited. Particular attention should be paid to traditional smoking materials as a cause of ill health, and advertising and promotion of tobacco products should be banned. Where tobacco is a commercial crop, every attempt should be made to reduce its role in the national economy and to investigate alternative use of land and labor. The UK bears considerable responsibility for the present situation. Yet, far from discouraging exports to developing countries, the reverse is true. Britain offers no overseas assistance for anti-smoking programs. Instead, it has provided funds for the development of tobacco industries. Individual doctors in Britain can provide an example by pressing for smoking control policies in all hospitals and health service premises. They can voice their concern at the activities of the tobacco companies both at home and abroad, and they can consider the propriety of holding tobacco shares either themselves or via the universities or institutions with which they are associated.