Date of Award

12-15-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Jenelle Shanley Chatham

Second Advisor

Jidong Huang

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: It is well established that breastfeeding is optimal for infants for the first six months of life. Breastfeeding is a public health concern as current prevalence and initiation rates within the state of Georgia do not reflect public health target rates.

AIM: To examine the cost and health savings of infants who are exclusively breastfed versus the expenditures and health detriment for exclusively formula fed infants in Georgia.

METHODS: A cost effectiveness analysis was conducted on breastfeeding rates for infants in the Georgia’s WIC using data from the USDA.

RESULTS: Breastfeeding programming in GA is costlier than formula use for WIC infants, but more cost effective as a whole given short-term outcomes.

DISCUSSION: Improving breastfeeding rates in Georgia by providing infants the healthiest start in life is an adequate prevention strategy to reduce health disparities gaps within the United States.

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