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Fact Checked

Entering Decade #5 – What’s New with Healthy People 2030?

What if instead of going to the emergency room because of a health condition you’ve been ignoring that worsened, you had the knowledge and resources to prevent the health condition in the first place? The U.S. spends the most money on healthcare of any developed country, yet we lag behind on key health indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality, and obesity. What if we could stop spending so much money AND be healthier?!  

The old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is key – it is so much better for the individual and the health care system to focus on health promotion and disease prevention. Enter the Healthy People initiative.

What Is the Healthy People Initiative?

The Healthy People initiative is an evidence-based set of national goals and objectives to improve all people's health and well-being in the United States. The first report was published in 1979, and specific goals and objectives are re-imagined every 10 years. And Healthy People 2030 (the fifth edition) was just launched! 

Where Does the Data Come From?

The Healthy People initiative is overseen by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services in the U.S. federal government. They have access to over 80 diverse data systems that capture national-level data, such as vital statistics (e.g., births, deaths), survey data, and data from other related initiatives that are shared. You can see a full list of all the data sources on their website. 

Putting all this information in an organized and accessible way helps users make data-driven and informed decisions about their health and well-being.  

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How Is the Data Used?

Anyone can access and search the data! Which is a wonderful thing. Take a look and explore the Healthy People 2020 data. There are 42 topic areas and over 1200 objectives. You can pick and choose how and what data to look at, and see how it changed over the 10 years. They even offer  recommendations based on what is seen with the data. 

Any stakeholders from community groups, small towns, large cities, states, regions, or the country can use Healthy People data to help make informed decisions to improve a populations’ health and well-being. Some examples include:

What’s New with Healthy People 2030?

The biggest change is that there are fewer objectives and have all been mapped to the 2020 objectives. There are 355 core (measurable) objectives—the bread and butter. Objectives are organized into five broad categories (below) and cover various topics within each category.

  • Health Conditions
  • Health Behaviors
  • Populations
  • Settings and Systems
  • Social Determinants of Health

Explore topics that mean something to you and your family and read about the objectives. Then, follow along on the website over the years to see how we are doing on each of these important objectives. They just may impact your own health and well-being in the decade to come!

The website is full of much more information, so check it out. It is interesting to see how big data is becoming so accessible and user-friendly and how we all can improve health promotion and disease prevention efforts. 

Reference List

  1. Healthy People 2030. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Accessed September 24, 2020. https://health.gov/healthypeople 
  2. DATA2020. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Updated September 24, 2020. Accessed September 24, 2020. https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/data-search/   
Published October 13th, 2020 by Dr. Audrey Kostrzewa, PharmD, MPH, BCPS
Fact Checked by Chris Riley

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