There is an old cliché that says that what gets measured, gets done. This is part of the strategy behind the federal Healthy People initiative, which provides 10-year national objectives for improving public health and the health of all Americans.
The Department of Health and Human Services has begun the process of updating the Healthy People objectives for 2030 and sought feedback on the proposed objectives. Earlier this month, 1,000 Days commented on a wide range of the proposed objectives, including those related to breastfeeding, nutrition, maternal and child health, and health care.
We strongly supported the inclusion of measures that would further the health and well-being of women and infants—and their families and communities. For example, we expressed our support for proposed objectives seeking to reduce fetal, infant, and maternal deaths, as well as for an objective seeking to increase the proportion of people with medical insurance.
Unfortunately, several critical measures that had been included in Healthy People 2020 were eliminated from the proposed list of 2030 objectives in order to “streamline” Healthy People 2030. For example, the proposal for Healthy People 2030 included just 1 breastfeeding-related objective, while Healthy People 2020 had included 8 objectives and sub-objectives related to breastfeeding. 1,000 Days strongly advocated for these and other objectives to be retained in Healthy People 2030.
1,000 Days also proposed the creation of new dietary objectives for pregnant women, infants, and toddlers. The Healthy People 2030 launch will take place close to the launch of the 2020-2025 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which for the first time ever, will include guidance for infants and toddlers (from birth to age 24 months) and women who are pregnant. New, diet-related objectives for these populations should align with the forthcoming guidance.
To learn more about Healthy People 2030 or to follow the development process, visit HealthyPeople.gov. It is important for Healthy People 2030 to include as many measures as possible that result in a strong and healthy first 1,000 days.