Key Lessons - Both over nutrition (obesity) and under nutrition (malnutrition) are set during infancy. Early and exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months fo life followed by complementary (home) foods and continued breastfeeding up to two years and beyond mitigates both these extremes. (1)
Human milk is the most 'secure' food for an infant. Protection of breastfeeding by world wide adherence to both the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (and subsequent relevant WHA Resolutions) ('the Code') and The Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding ( 2003) is critical to ensuring that each child can maximize their life potential.
The attached summary table in the UN SCN Breastfeeding and Complementary Feeding Working Group 2004 summarises how intimately essential breastfeeding (human milk) is to achieving the eight MD goals. Breastfeeding (human milk) protects the life of the child nutritionally and healthwise now and in the future, and protects and provides normal health for the mother. (2) All of which is a cost saving to both the family and the community. (3)
(1) Victora C. Nutrition in early life: a global priority. The Lancet 2009; 374(9696):1123-1125.)
(2) Ip S, Chung M, Raman G, et al. Breastfeeding and Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes in Developed Countries. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2007 Apr. (Evidence Reports/Technology Assessments, No. 153.) Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK38337/
(3) Bartick M, Reinhold A. Pediatrics. The burden of suboptimal breastfeeding in the United States: A pediatric cost analysis. 2010 Apr 5. Pediatrics (online) DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-1616
(5) Ball O. Breastmilk is a human right. Breastfeeding Rev. 2010;18(3):9-19
Initiatives - The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent relevant Resolutions, and The Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, if applied worldwide with honest commitment of governments to their people, will ensure reaching the eight goals.
This thematic discussion was led by FAO and WFP in collaboration with “The World We Want”.
The consultation was facilitated by the Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)