Topical Area: Policy, Global Nutrition
Objectives : To evaluate if infant formulas, baby bottles, nipples, pacifiers, and nipple protectors are marketed in compliance with the Brazilian Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes (NBCAL).
Methods : A cross-sectional study conducted in 2017 through a census of all pharmacies, supermarkets and department stores that commercialized products covered by NBCAL in the Southern Zone of Rio de Janeiro. NBCAL- trained health professionals used a structured electronic form for direct observation of the establishments and for interviewing those responsible. Six indicators have been developed for the evaluation of commercial practices and descriptive analyzes have been carried out.
Results : 352 commercial establishments were evaluated: 240 pharmacies, 88 supermarkets, and 24 department stores, of which 88% sold products whose promotion is prohibited by NBCAL. The illegal commercial promotion was found in 20.3% of those who marketed the products investigated: 52 pharmacies (21.9%), four supermarkets (7.5%) and seven department stores (33.3%). The most frequent commercial promotion strategies were discounts and special exhibitions. The products with the highest prevalence of infractions to NBCAL were infant formulas. 309 people in charge of the commercial establishments were interviewed, more than half reporting not knowing about the Law. Visits of merchant representatives of infant formula manufacturers were reported by more than three-quarters of them.
Conclusions : More than a fifth of the commercial establishments were promoting infant formula, baby bottles, and nipples, despite the prohibition of this practice in Brazil for thirty years. Training of those responsible for the commercial establishments is necessary. Government agencies should carry out supervision of commercial establishments in order to curb strategies to persuade and induce sales of these products, guaranteeing mothers autonomy in the decision on feeding their children.
Funding Sources : CNPq and FAPERJ