Lifetime health outcomes of breast-feeding

A comparison of the policy documents of five European countries

Elena Martin-Bautista, Heather Gage, Julia Von Rosen-Von Hoewel, Viktoria Jakobik, Kirsi Laitinen, Martina Schmid, Jane Morgan, Peter Williams, T. Decsi, Cristina Campoy, Berthold Koletzko, Monique Raats

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective To (i) identify and describe prevailing infant feeding policy documents in five diverse European countries; (ii) analyse types of health outcomes for the infant that are associated with feeding breast milk rather than formula milk in the documents of different countries; and (iii) assess the extent to which documents reflect the WHO global recommendation of exclusive breast-feeding for 6 months.Design Documentary review and analysis.Setting Five geographically dispersed countries of Europe (England, Finland, Germany, Hungary and Spain).Subjects Policy documents on infant feeding were identified; statements that linked choice between breast- and formula-feeding to a health outcome for the infant were extracted.Results Twenty-six documents (varied authorships, dates, length and character) were identified: four from England; two from Finland; nine from Germany; six from Hungary; and five from Spain. There was no consistency in the way in which health outcomes were cited as factors in the recommendations for breast- rather than formula-feeding. Seven documents contained no reference to the health implications of infant feeding choice. Of 203 statements in remaining documents citing health outcomes, 241 % mentioned general health effects, 325 % protection against infections, 315 % long-term conditions (e.g. diabetes, CVD) and 118 % mentioned allergy. Health outcomes were linked to exclusive breast-feeding in only 25 % of statements.Conclusions Policy documents in the study countries varied in the extent to which they reflect the health outcomes for the baby of breast-feeding, and this may limit effective promotion by health professionals. There is scope to improve the process of bringing evidence and recommendations into policy documents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1653-1662
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Volume13
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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Breast Feeding
Hungary
Health
Finland
England
Spain
Germany
Authorship
Human Milk
Health Promotion
Hypersensitivity
Milk
Breast
Infant Health
Infection

Keywords

  • Breast-feeding
  • European countries
  • Health outcomes
  • Policy documents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Martin-Bautista, E., Gage, H., Von Rosen-Von Hoewel, J., Jakobik, V., Laitinen, K., Schmid, M., ... Raats, M. (2010). Lifetime health outcomes of breast-feeding: A comparison of the policy documents of five European countries. Public Health Nutrition, 13(10), 1653-1662. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980010001850

Lifetime health outcomes of breast-feeding : A comparison of the policy documents of five European countries. / Martin-Bautista, Elena; Gage, Heather; Von Rosen-Von Hoewel, Julia; Jakobik, Viktoria; Laitinen, Kirsi; Schmid, Martina; Morgan, Jane; Williams, Peter; Decsi, T.; Campoy, Cristina; Koletzko, Berthold; Raats, Monique.

In: Public Health Nutrition, Vol. 13, No. 10, 2010, p. 1653-1662.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Martin-Bautista, E, Gage, H, Von Rosen-Von Hoewel, J, Jakobik, V, Laitinen, K, Schmid, M, Morgan, J, Williams, P, Decsi, T, Campoy, C, Koletzko, B & Raats, M 2010, 'Lifetime health outcomes of breast-feeding: A comparison of the policy documents of five European countries', Public Health Nutrition, vol. 13, no. 10, pp. 1653-1662. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980010001850
Martin-Bautista E, Gage H, Von Rosen-Von Hoewel J, Jakobik V, Laitinen K, Schmid M et al. Lifetime health outcomes of breast-feeding: A comparison of the policy documents of five European countries. Public Health Nutrition. 2010;13(10):1653-1662. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980010001850
Martin-Bautista, Elena ; Gage, Heather ; Von Rosen-Von Hoewel, Julia ; Jakobik, Viktoria ; Laitinen, Kirsi ; Schmid, Martina ; Morgan, Jane ; Williams, Peter ; Decsi, T. ; Campoy, Cristina ; Koletzko, Berthold ; Raats, Monique. / Lifetime health outcomes of breast-feeding : A comparison of the policy documents of five European countries. In: Public Health Nutrition. 2010 ; Vol. 13, No. 10. pp. 1653-1662.
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