Analysis of data from the Ross Laboratories Mothers Survey, a large, national survey (Ryan et al., 2002), shows that the rates of breastfeeding initiation (in-hospital) and breastfeeding at 6 months rose by 16 percent and 14 percent, respectively, in the 1990s. In 2001, rates were at their highest point in 40 years (Figures 2-27 and 2-28). Recent data from the National Immunization Survey, a population-based survey conducted by the CDC, showed that these rates continued to rise from 2000 to 2004.
There are remarkable disparities in rates of breastfeeding. Mothers who were white or Hispanic, older, college-educated, and not enrolled in WIC were significantly more likely to breastfeed and exclusively breastfeed in the hospital and at 6 months (Ryan et al., 2002).
Nationally representative data show continuous increases in obesity (BMI ≥ 95th percentile) among American school-aged children and adolescents from 1980 to the present (available online at http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/childhood/prevalence.htm