An 18-month-old boy with Down syndrome has been named by baby food maker Gerber as its "Spokesbaby" for 2018, the company said on Wednesday, an action hailed by advocates for people with the genetic condition.

Lucas Warren of Dalton, Georgia, won Gerber's annual photo contest over 140,000 entries with his "winning smile and joyful expression," Gerber Chief Executive Bill Partyka said in a statement.

"Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber's longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby, and this year, Lucas is the perfect fit," Partyka said.