Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 4th October 2019.

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Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds Conservative, East Hampshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what evidence base his Department used to produce guidance on the relative merits of breastfeeding and bottle feeding; and what changes have been made to that guidance in each of the last ten years.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

In July 2018, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) published its report on ‘Feeding in the First Year of Life’, providing updated recommendations on infant feeding up to 12 months of age in the UK, which were last reviewed by SACN’s predecessor the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition Policy in 1994. The report can be found at the following link and it outlines in detail the evidence considered:

SACN conducted a comprehensive risk assessment of the available evidence on infant feeding. The risk assessment included consideration of breastfeeding, infant formula feeding and the introduction of solid foods in relation to health outcomes. Based on this, SACN recommended that existing advice for women to exclusively breastfeed for around the first six months of life and to continue breastfeeding for at least the first year of life once solid foods have been introduced, should be retained.

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