WHO and UNICEF jointly developed the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding to revitalize world attention to the impact that feeding practices have on the nutritional status, growth and development, health, and thus the very survival of infants and young children.

The Global Strategy is based on the evidence of nutrition’s significance in the early months and years of life, and of the crucial role that appropriate feeding practices play in achieving optimal health outcomes. Lack of breastfeeding – and especially lack of exclusive breastfeeding during the first half-year of life – are important risk factors for infant and childhood morbidity and mortality that are only compounded by inappropriate complementary feeding. The life-long impact includes poor school performance, reduced productivity, and impaired intellectual and social development.