Healthy People Nutrition Objectives

The Healthy People 2000 report, issued in 1990 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS), identified public health goals to improve the overall health of the United States. It promoted health and disease prevention and addressed disparities in health status and health outcomes between diverse population groups. To help meet these goals within 10 years, specific objectives involving nutrition were identified in 21 different priority areas. The goals for Healthy People 2010 focus on (1) increasing the quality and years of healthy life, and (2) eliminating health disparities among racial and ethnic groups. The report emphasizes that public and private organizations must share responsibility for improving Americans’ health. Healthy People 2010 targets many objectives related to nutrition, weight, and oral health.

Healthy People 2010: Nutrition Priority Areas

  • Reduce the proportion of children, adolescents, and adults who are overweight or obese.
  • Increase the proportion of adults who are at a healthy weight.
  • Reduce growth retardation among low-income children younger than age 5 years.
  • Increase the proportion of all individuals who consume desirable levels of fruits, vegetables (at least one serving of dark green or orange), and grain products (at least six daily servings including three whole grain).
  • Increase the proportion of individuals older than age 2 years who consume less than 10% of kilocalories from saturated fat and no more than 30% of kilocalories from total fat.
  • Increase the proportion of individuals 2 years and older who consume 2400 mg or less of sodium.
  •  Increase the proportion of individuals 2 years and older who meet dietary recommendations for calcium.
  • Reduce iron deficiency among young children, women of childbearing age, and pregnant women.
  • Increase the proportion of children and adolescents whose intakes from meals and snacks at school contribute proportionally to overall dietary quality.
  • Increase the number of worksites that offer nutrition or weight management classes or counseling.
  • Increase the number of physician office visits that include counseling or education related to diet and nutrition for patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia.
  • Achieve food security and reduce hunger in U.S. households.
  • Increase the number of mothers who breastfeed their infants.
  • Reduce the number of low-birth-weight and very-low-birth-weight infants.
  • Increase the proportion of mothers who achieve a recommended weight gain during their pregnancy.
  • Increase the proportion of pregnancies that begin with an optimum folic acid level.
  • Reduce the proportion of children and adolescents who have dental caries in their primary or permanent teeth.
  • Increase the numbers of community water systems containing optimal amounts of fluoride.

By 2004, some objectives showed positive results, whereas several objectives showed negative results. In particular, negative outcomes included decreasing numbers of people with a healthy weight, increasing prevalence of overweight people (adults, children, and adolescents), and children with dental caries and untreated dental decay.