The USLCA submitted the following comment regarding the updated HP2030 objectives:
The decision to eliminate all but one of the breastfeeding objectives from HP2020 is a surprising departure and raises concern for public health. Lactating parents and their infants face many challenges that threaten their ability to reach recommended breastfeeding goals. The proposed objective limits the discussion of breastfeeding to 6 months, which is just 25% of the breastfeeding timeline recommended by the WHO. Expansion of these goals would allow for more strategic intervention and effective policy change. HP2030 places a large emphasis on adult health, and lactation behavior is a significant contributor to long-term health and the prevention of chronic disease in both breastfed infants and adults who have lactated. Creating a system where raising healthy infants becomes the easier choice will ultimately reduce the incidence and costs of treating many of the diseases that HP2030 aims to prevent.
We strongly support exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months as a Core Objective for HP2030 but feel this is just the beginning. Breastfeeding is a proven primary prevention strategy and builds a foundation for life-long health and well-being, and the evidence is scientific, solid, and continually reaffirmed by new research. All major medical authorities recommend babies receive only human milk for their first six months and continue to breastfeed (with the addition of appropriate complementary foods) for at least the first 1-2 years of life. Monumental health and economic gains can be achieved through policy and practice changes that ensure families have the support they need. If 90% of infants were breastfed according to medical recommendations, 3,340 deaths, $3 billion in medical costs, and $14.2 billion in costs of premature death would be prevented, annually. Supporting breastfeeding can contribute to reaching a multitude of the proposed HP2030 objectives: reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes, and asthma in children and reducing the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and breast and ovarian cancers in mothers. Over the past several decades, the Healthy People initiative has helped improve breastfeeding support, and as a result, breastfeeding rates have increased, but stark racial and geographic disparities remain. Eliminating disparities in breastfeeding rates is a critical step toward achieving health equity and closing the gaps in breastfeeding rates. To ensure continued momentum and progress toward improving breastfeeding support across the United States, it is critical that HP2030 maintains a clear focus on breastfeeding. Importantly, the HP2030 launch is timed closely with the launch of the 2020-25 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which for the first time, will include guidance for infants and toddlers (from birth to age 24 months), and persons who are pregnant. It is critical that both the Healthy People and Dietary Guidelines demonstrate strong support for breastfeeding.
You can review our comments and others here.