Gabrielle Palmer turns her attention to complementary foods, the first foods that a child eats beside milk, in Complementary Feeding: Nutrition, Culture and Politics. In her groundbreaking book, The Politics of Breastfeeding, she highlighted the controversies surrounding the aggressive promotion of breastmilk substitutes.
For most of human existence, children went without industrially processed foods and branded food products. Can we applaud the progress of the way children are fed today? In our unequal world one billion people risk their health through overconsumption while two billion people are hungry. The health problems of both groups start in early childhood.
The power and influence of the food industry has increased dramatically in recent decades. Seductive and often unethical modern marketing methods have led to the promotion of unsuitable, unnecessary and sometimes harmful baby foods. Yet not all industrially processed foods are bad and not all ‘natural’ foods are good. Both poor and rich children may be inappropriately fed.
What lessons can we learn from history? How do cultural and religious beliefs influence the choice of food? Can government initiatives have any effect? How can we provide good nutrition for all infants? This brief, compassionate and thought-provoking new book will be of interest to anyone who is curious about the world, its children and their nutrition, and will stimulate discussion and debate as part of the campaign to create a world where health for all is a true goal.
About the Author
Gabrielle Palmer is a nutritionist and a campaigner. She was a breastfeeding counsellor in the 1970s and helped establish the UK pressure group Baby Milk Action. In the early 1980s she lived and worked as a volunteer in Mozambique. She has written, taught and campaigned on infant feeding issues, particularly the unethical marketing of baby foods. In the 1990s she co-directed the International Breastfeeding: Practice and Policy course at The Institute of Child Health in London until she went to live in China for two years. She has worked independently for various health and development agencies, including serving as HIV and Infant Feeding Officer for UNICEF New York. She recently worked at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where she had originally studied nutrition.