Health Practitioners Must Ask Parents About Child-Feeding Practices To Avoid Dangerous Formula Substitutions

Global Health NOW: Cheap Milk Substitutes Endanger Babies
Afifa Tanweer, nutritionist in India and honorable mention winner in the 2016 Untold Global Health Stories Contest

“…Finding a total of five tea creamer-fed children during [a] three-months period, I was convinced that poverty, lack of knowledge, and advertising can play a significant role in child-feeding practices. Many health practitioners … may overlook this root cause of undernourishment. But it must be highlighted. Not only can it have an impact on [a] child’s health, it can also improve the efficiency of diagnostic interventions. Convincing the pediatric health practitioners to start asking the type/brand of milk being given to the patient and intervening accordingly is a small investment compared to its potential benefits. Moreover, the tea whitener manufacturers must be pressed to put a clear pictorial explanation in their advertisements and on packages that it must not be used for feeding children. This issue must also be included in the community-based nutrition campaigns for promoting healthy feeding practices during formative early years of life” (6/20).