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How Many Children in California Are Breastfed?

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How Many Children in California Are Breastfed?

Picture of Nick  Vidinsky

Studies have shown that breastfeeding significantly reduces health risks for babies and their mothers. So how many Californians are breastfeeding their babies? Not enough. See our interactive charts and sort the data by ethnicity, income and gender.

Visit Health Dialogues to view the graph:

http://www.kqed.org/assets/graph/breastfeeding/index.jsp

Multimedia of breastfeeding statistics in California
KQED Public Radio's "Health Dialogues"
Thursday, January 22, 2009

Health studies have shown that breastfeeding significantly reduces a child's risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma and obesity. Studies also show that breastfeeding reduces the mother's risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

It's no wonder, then, that the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization all recommend that mothers give their babies only breast milk for at least the first six months of their lives.

So how many Californians are breastfeeding their babies? And are they breastfeeding for the recommended six months?

To help answer these questions, KQED looked at breastfeeding data collected by the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). The latest findings, recorded in 2005 and published in September 2008, were used by KQED to create the graphs below.

While more than 80% of children ages 0-3 have ever been breastfed, far fewer are breastfed for the recommended six months. The data also shows us that African-American children are less likely to have been breastfed, and children living in more affluent households are more likely to have been breastfed.

Visit Health Dialogues to view the graph:

http://www.kqed.org/assets/graph/breastfeeding/index.jsp