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Mexico uses topless celebrities in breastfeeding campaign

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An advertising campaign that uses topless celebrities to encourage breastfeeding in Mexico City has hit a sour note.

Along with images of glamorous, slender women striking a series of catalogue-worthy model poses in nothing but their jeans, posters issued by Mexico City health officials carry the message "Don't turn your back on them, give them your breast".

“It’s not only a very terrible campaign in terms of how it looks, but it’s also the message that if you don’t breast-feed, you are a bad mother and you are the one to blame,” Regina Tames, of the reproductive rights group GIRE, told NPR.

Even one of the campaign's own stars has now dissociated herself from the controversial images.

In a message that has since been deleted from actress Camila Sodi's Twitter account, she wrote: "I ask to not be associated with the campaign of breastfeeding. I did not authorise anything and I think it's in bad taste."

She later released a statement to say that while she supports the cause, she was not consulted on the final artwork.

Camila Sodi, above, was featured in the campaign but later said she had not authorised the final artwork

Mexico has the lowest level of breastfeeding in Latin America, with only one in seven mothers breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months.

Last year health officials described the country's breastfeeding rates as a "public health crisis."

Mexico has been criticised for not regulating companies that sell baby formula and it has not signed up to World Health Organization guidelines that restricts hospitals from handing out free baby formula to new mothers.

Chessa Lutter, the regional adviser for the Pan American Health Organization, added: "It shouldn't just be all up to the mother.

"You have got to provide that very supportive environment, particularly in a country like Mexico where because it isn't now the normative behaviour the government has to take a very strong role."

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