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Breast-Feeding in U.S. Falls Short of National Targets

Last Updated: March 29, 2010.

With breast-feeding among non-Hispanic black women lagging well behind Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women, the United States has fallen short of targets for breast-feeding under the Healthy People 2010 health initiative, according to a report in the March 26 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

MONDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- With breast-feeding among non-Hispanic black women lagging well behind Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women, the United States has fallen short of targets for breast-feeding under the Healthy People 2010 (HP2010) health initiative, according to a report in the March 26 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Kelley S. Scanlon, Ph.D., of the CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from the 2004 to 2008 National Immunization Survey on children born during 2003 to 2006, including information on breast-feeding initiation, breast-feeding through 6 months of age, and breast-feeding through 12 months of age. The researchers analyzed the data by race/ethnicity and state to evaluate HP2010 progress.

Overall, the national estimate for breast-feeding initiation was 73.4 percent, for continuation to 6 months was 41.7 percent, and for continuation to 12 months was 21.0 percent, compared to the HP2010 targets of 75, 50, and 25 percent, respectively. For states in which there was sufficient sample size to calculate HP2010 compliance by race/ethnic group, Hispanics, non-Hispanic whites, and non-Hispanic blacks met the HP2010 targets for breast-feeding initiation in 33 of 49, 27 of 51, and one of 33 states, respectively. For breast-feeding continuation to 6 months, Hispanics, non-Hispanic whites, and non-Hispanic blacks met the HP2010 targets in eight of 49, 14 of 51, and two of 33 states, respectively. Finally, for breast-feeding continuation to 12 months, Hispanics, non-Hispanic whites, and non-Hispanic blacks met targets in 12 of 49, 14 of 51, and three of 33 states, respectively.

"To continue to work toward reducing racial/ethnic disparities in breast-feeding, CDC is reassessing strategies for promoting and supporting breast-feeding among non-Hispanic black women," the authors write.

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