Send to

Choose Destination
Pediatrics. 2011 Oct;128(4):702-5. doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-0983. Epub 2011 Sep 26.

Trends in US hospital distribution of industry-sponsored infant formula sample packs.

Author information

Division of General Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA.



To describe trends in the proportion of US hospitals that distribute industry-sponsored formula sample packs between 2007 and 2010.


This is a follow-up of a 2007 study. In 2007, we surveyed all 50 US states to determine the proportion of hospitals that distributed infant formula samples to new mothers. In 2010, we selected the 10 best-record and 10 worst-record states with regard to industry-sponsored formula sample-pack distribution in 2007. We called all hospitals in these 20 states and asked if the maternity service distributed a "formula company-sponsored diaper discharge bag" to new mothers. We also recorded the respondent's job title.


We contacted 1239 hospitals in 20 states. In 2007, 14% of these hospitals were sample-pack-free. In 2010, 28% of the same hospitals were sample-pack-free; the proportion of sample-pack-free hospitals per state ranged from 0% (5 states) to 86% (Rhode Island). In the 10 best-record states, the weighted proportion of sample-pack-free hospitals increased by a mean difference of 18% between 2007 and 2010 (P < .0001). In the 10 worst-record states, the weighted proportion of sample-pack-free hospitals increased by a mean difference of 6% (P < .01).


Most US hospitals continue to distribute industry-sponsored formula sample packs, but trends indicate a significant change in practice; increasing proportions of hospitals eliminate these packs. Change was more significant in states where higher proportions of hospitals had already eliminated packs in 2007.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center