Health Statements Made in Infant Formula Advertisements in Pregnancy and Early Parenting Magazines: A Content Analysis

Jamie Stang, Kathleen Hoss, Mary Story

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pregnant women and mothers of infants are the target audience for advertisements of infant formula. The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the prevalence and content of health statements made in infant formula advertisements found in pregnancy and early parenting magazines from August 2006 to August 2007. A total of 173 infant formula advertisements were found in 77 individual issues of 16 different magazines. Forty-two unduplicated advertisements were used for the content analysis. Statistical analysis included kappa scores, frequencies, and percentages. Results showed that 9 of the 16 magazines analyzed contained ads for infant formulas. Of these, more than half of all infant formula advertisements made some type of health statement. Health statements varied greatly but generally advertised improvements in gastrointestinal, brain, or eye health; language development; or reduced incidence of allergies, food intolerances, and gastrointestinal disorders. Such health statements may influence a mother's decision on which method of infant feeding to provide. A greater understanding of how these statements are perceived by new mothers as well as how they affect infant feeding decisions is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-25
Number of pages10
JournalICAN: Infant, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2010

Keywords

  • advertising
  • breastfeeding promotion
  • health claims
  • infant formula
  • infant nutrition

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