Top-ranked hospitals have abandoned infant formula promotion

A new study from Public Citizen and the Ban the Bags campaign shows that the majority of the top ranked hospitals in the U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Hospitals” no longer distribute gift bags from infant formula manufacturers. See the press release at http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/pressroomredirect.cfm?ID=4001. The abandonment of this marketing practice at top hospitals can serve as an example of how ending this marketing tactic shows a dedication to the health and safety of a hospital’s littlest patients. Sixty-seven percent of top hospitals in gynecology (30 out of 45) reported not distributing formula company sponsored discharge bags, formula samples or other formula company promotional materials to mothers in their maternity units.  Eleven percent of hospitals in gynecology (5 of 45) still distribute formula company-sponsored materials, and a handful of hospitals did not respond to the survey. If your hospital is still engaged in this detrimental practice it’s time to ask why a health institution persists in endorsing and marketing potentially hazardous brand name products to its vulnerable patients. The entire study can be found at http://www.citizen.org/documents/Best-Hospitals-End-Infant-Formula-Marketing-to-Support-Breastfeeding-Report.pdf.

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