Skills to Develop
- State the Healthy People 2030 nutrition- and weight-status goals.
- List three related objectives for the Healthy People 2030 program.
The Healthy People 2030 program, launched in 2020, is a ten-year national program instituted by the US government with objectives to improve the health of all Americans. The vision of Healthy People 2030 is “A society in which all people can achieve their full potential for health and well-being across the lifespan.” The mission is “to promote, strengthen, and evaluate the nation’s efforts to improve the health and well-being of all people.” This means that the understanding of what makes and keeps people healthy is consistently refined. The determinants of health approach reflects the evidence from outside factors that greatly affect the health of individuals. (US Department of Health and Human Services. “Healthy People 2030.”. https://health.gov/healthypeople. It takes into consideration the circumstances in which people are born, live, work, and age. It also reflects the conditions that shape their circumstances, such as money, power, and resources at the local, national, and global levels. Social determinants of health are primarily accountable for the lack of fair health opportunities and the unjust differences in health status that exist within and between countries. World Health Organization. “Social Determinants of Health.” © 2017. http://www.who.int/social_determinants/en/.
Video 2.4.1: Preparing for the Next Decade
Video 2.4.1: Preparing for the Next Decade: A 2030 Vision for Healthy People (click to see video)
Helping People Make Healthy Choices
It is not just ourselves, the food industry, and the federal government that shapes our choices of food and physical activity, but also our sex, genetics, disabilities, income, religion, culture, education, lifestyle, age, and environment. All of these factors must be addressed by organizations and individuals that seek to make changes in dietary habits. The socioeconomic model incorporates all of these factors and is used by health-promoting organizations, such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) to determine multiple avenues through which to promote healthy eating patterns, to increase levels of physical activity, and to reduce the risk of chronic disease for all Americans.
Lower economic prosperity influences diet specifically by lowering food quality, decreasing food choices, and decreasing access to enough food. Food insecurity is the inability to meet one's food needs all the time. We think of this in developing countries, but it also occurs in the United States and other developing countries. For children, food insecurity is associated with impaired physical and mental health. As a result of the recent financial crisis in America in 2008, the number of people who struggle to have enough to eat is rising and approaching fifty million (15% of the population). In response to these recent numbers, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “These numbers are a wake-up call…for us to get very serious about food security and hunger, about nutrition and food safety in this country.”Amy Goldstein, “Hunger a Growing Problem in America, USDA Reports,” Washington Post, 17 November 2009. www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/16/AR2009111601598.html. The Federal government has several programs to help. These include Food Stamps, WIC (Woman, Infant, and Children) program, school food lunch program, and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). Most programs are administered by the USDA>
Video 2.4.2: Determinants of Health
Video 2.4.2: Determinants of Health Approach in Healthy People 2030 (click to see video)
Goals for Nutrition and Weight Status
While Healthy People 2030 has many goals and objectives, we are going to focus on the two goals for nutrition and weight status. They are to promote health and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases by encouraging Americans to consume healthful diets and to achieve and maintain healthy body weights. Nutrition criteria are reflective of a solid scientific foundation for health and weight management. Emphasis is on modifying individual behavior patterns and habits and having policies and environments that will support these behaviors in various settings, such as schools and local community-based organizations.
Healthy People 2030 is going to follow these foundational principles to guide its decisions about Healthy People 2030:
- The health and well-being of all people and communities is essential to a thriving, equitable society.
- Promoting health and well-being and preventing disease are linked efforts that encompass physical, mental, and social health dimensions.
- Investing to achieve the full potential for health and well-being for all provides valuable benefits to society.
- Achieving health and well-being requires eliminating health disparities, achieving health equity, and attaining health literacy.
- Healthy physical, social, and economic environments strengthen the potential to achieve health and well-being.
- Promoting and achieving health and well-being nationwide is a shared responsibility that is distributed across the national, state, tribal, and community levels, including the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors.
- Working to attain the full potential for health and well-being of the population is a component of decision-making and policy formulation across all sectors.
Achieving these broad and ambitious goals requires setting, working toward, and achieving a wide variety of much more specific goals. Healthy People 2030’s overarching goals are to:
- Attain healthy, thriving lives and well-being free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death.
- Eliminate health disparities, achieve health equity, and attain health literacy to improve the health and well-being of all.
- Create social, physical, and economic environments that promote attaining the full potential for health and well-being for all.
- Promote healthy development, healthy behaviors, and well-being across all life stages.
- Engage leadership, key constituents, and the public across multiple sectors to take action and design policies that improve the health and well-being of all.
Healthy People 2030 has set 68 nutrition objectives. Here are a few highlights:
- Increase the proportion of health care visits by adults with obesity that include counseling on weight loss, nutrition, or physical activity
- Increase the proportion of worksites that offer an employee nutrition program
- Increase vegetable consumption by people aged 2 years and over
- Increase fruit consumption by people aged 2 and over
- Increase calcium consumption by people aged 2 years and over
Tools for Change
If you wait many hours between meals, there is a good chance you will overeat. To refrain from overeating try consuming small meals at frequent intervals throughout the day as opposed to two or three large meals. Eat until you are satisfied, not until you feel “stuffed.” Eating slowly and savoring your food allows you to both enjoy what you eat and have time to realize that you are full before you get overfull. Your stomach is about the size of your fist but it expands if you eat excessive amounts of food in one sitting. Eating smaller meals will diminish the size of your appetite over time so you will feel satisfied with smaller amounts of food.
Benefits of Following the Healthy People 2030 Goals
Nutrition and weight status are important to children’s growth and development. In addition, healthy eating habits will decrease the risk of developing chronic health conditions such as obesity, malnutrition, anemia, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, dyslipidemia (poor lipid profiles), Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, dental disease, constipation, diverticular disease, and certain types of cancer. National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse, a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health. “Am I at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?” NIH Publication No. 09-4805 (November 2008). Last updated December 6, 2011. diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/riskfortype2/.
Video 1.13.3: Active versus Sedentary Lifestyles
Video 2.4.3: This video provides a short overview of leading an active life versus a sedentary life.
For more information on Healthy People 2030 and its related objectives for nutrition and weight status, please visit the website https://health.gov/healthypeople.
- Healthy People 2020 is a health initiative with a ten-year objective of helping Americans improve health and well-being, and to live long, healthy lives. Among its many objectives are to promote health and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases by encouraging Americans to consume healthful diets and to achieve and maintain healthy body weights.
- The goals of Healthy People 2030 are founded upon a determinants of health approach, which means they are reflective of the circumstances in which people are born, live, and work, as well as the conditions that shape their circumstances such as money, power, and resources at the local, national, and global levels. Diet patterns are influenced by genetics, environment, and cultural values. All of these things must be considered to provide the optimal approach to improving the health of the American population.
- Decreasing caloric intake and increasing physical activity are important strategies for achieving the goals of the Healthy People 2030 program.
Think of fun ways to increase physical activity in your life. Watch the video below for ideas.
How to Avoid a Sedentary Lifestyle (click to see video)
Review some of the Healthy People 2030 nutrition and physical activity program objectives. What objectives would you like to see enacted in your community? Why is this important to you? https://health.gov/our-work/national-health-initiatives/healthy-people