The effect of milk formula advertisement on breast feeding and other infant feeding practice in Lagos, Nigeria

  • UA Onyechi
  • LC Nwabuzor
Keywords: Milk formula advertisement, infant feeding practices, breast feeding.


This study investigated the level of impact milk formula advertisements had on mothers’ choice of infant feeding in Lagos State, Nigeria. A total of 225 mothers with children 0-2years were randomly selected from five hospitals in Lagos Island local government area of Lagos State. Validated
questionnaires were used to obtain information from the mothers on their age, occupation, infant feeding pattern and type of infant formula advertisement seen. Data collected were analyzed using frequency distribution, percentages and analysis of variance (ANOVA). The result of the study showed that 92% of the mothers were within the reproductive years (20-40years). Fifteen percent of the mothers were housewives and 84.9% had some form of occupation. The result also revealed that
70% of the mothers breast fed only, 1.8% formula fed their babies and 27% practiced mixed feeding. The percentage of the mothers who saw or heard advertisement often from television, magazines,
posters, radio and bill board were 31.6%, 24.9%, 18.2%, 3.6% and 3.1%, respectively, 82.7% of the mothers had seen or heard of some form of infant formula advertisement. The most commonly advertised infant formula was NAN (51.1%). The most common type of advertisement seen was television advert (31%); 18.7% of the mothers were influenced by infant formula advert while 64% were not. The result showed that there was a significant effect on the infant feeding practices before and after infant formula advertisement was seen at (f=3.387; 0.003) and (f=4.025; 0.001), respectively. The study concluded that there was a high percentage of mothers who breast fed their infants however analyses of the data before and after advert between the groups and within the groups of women showed that infant formula advertisement had a significant effect on mothers’ choice of infant feeding.

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eISSN: 1119-7455