Healthy People is a national health promotion and disease prevention initiative that brings together national, State, and local government agencies; nonprofit, voluntary, and professional organizations; businesses; communities; and individuals to improve the health of all Americans, eliminate disparities in health, and improve years and quality of healthy life. The process is now coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Most states and many localities have been using the Healthy People framework to guide local health policies and programs — and many will issue their own versions in the coming years.
The first set of national health targets was published in 1979 in Healthy People: The Surgeon General’s Report on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention , which established five life-stage targets to be achieved during the 1980s. The second report, Healthy People 2000, was released in 1990 and included 319 objectives.
The current report, Healthy People 2010, was released in January 2010 and has 467 objectives. The Healthy People Consortium, a public-private alliance of over 350 national organizations and 270 state agencies, helped to draft it, and over 11,000 public comments were received. Its overall nutrition goal was to promote health and reduce chronic disease associated with diet and weight. Chapter 19 discusses 18 such objectives:
Increase the proportion of adults who are at a healthy weight.
Reduce the percentage of adults who are obese (defined as a BMI of 30 ore more)
Reduce the proportion of children and adolescents who are overweight or obese
Reduce growth retardation (defined as height-for-age below the fifth percentile in the age-gender appropriate population) among low-income children under age 5 years
Increase the proportion of persons aged 2 years and older who consume at least two daily servings of fruit
Increase the proportion of persons aged 2 years and older who consume at least three daily servings of vegetables, with at least one-third being dark green or deep yellow vegetables.
Increase the proportion of persons aged 2 years and older who consume at least six daily servings of grain products, with at least three being whole grains.
Increase the proportion of persons aged 2 years and older who consume less than 10% of calories from saturated fat.
Increase the proportion of persons aged 2 years and older who consume no more than 30% of calories from fat.
Increase the proportion of persons aged 2 years and older who consume 2,400 mg or less of sodium daily.
Increase the proportion of persons aged 2 years and older who meet dietary recommendations for calcium.
Reduce iron deficiency among young children and females of childbearing age.
Age 1-2: 9%
Age 2-4: 4%
Age 12-49: 11%
Age 1-2: 5%
Age 2-4: 1%
Age 12-49: 7%
Reduce anemia among low-income pregnant females in their third trimester.
Reduce iron deficiency in pregnant females.
Increase the proportion of children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 years whose intake of meals and snacks at schools contributes proportionally to good overall dietary quality.
Increase the proportion of worksites that offer nutrition or weight management classes or counseling.
Increase the proportion of physician office visits made by patients with a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or hyperlipidemia that include counseling or education related to diet and nutrition.
Increase food security among U.S. households (and in so doing reduce hunger).