Common Marketing Claims Persuade Caregivers that Infant Formula and Toddler Milks Provide Unsupported Health Benefits for Young Children

Marketing claims promote benefits of providing infant formula and toddler milks that are not supported by scientific evidence, yet 60% of caregivers surveyed mistakenly believe these products provide nutrition not present in breastmilk, whole milk or other healthy foods, according to a new paper published in Maternal and Child Nutrition from researchers at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. Relatedly, caregivers who participated in the study who believe these unsupported claims are significantly more likely to serve infant formula and toddler milk to their children, despite expert recommendations that toddler milks are not necessary for toddlers and that breastmilk is superior to infant formula for infants up to 12 months.