Every 10 years the federal Healthy People initiative sets goals and measurable objectives to improve the health and well-being of the United States. Last month, Healthy People 2030 launched with a slate of objectives to address the most high-impact public health issues over the next decade.
1,000 Days has been monitoring the development of Healthy People 2030 to ensure the new targets focus on a healthy first 1,000 days for moms and babies. It has been especially important to track this process because of one major change to Healthy People 2030: the number of objectives was dramatically reduced in comparison Healthy People 2020, with the intention of prioritizing only the most pressing public health issues. This means that many objectives in Healthy People 2020 were eliminated from Healthy People 2030.
1,000 Days submitted comments last year urging the Healthy People initiative to retain critical objectives related to nutrition, health care, and social determinants of health for moms and babies. Good news! The Healthy People initiative heard us – along with the voices of our partners and members of the public who submitted comments alongside us.
Healthy People 2030 includes a robust (though streamlined) set of targets for a healthy first 1,000 days. Objectives address critical topics such as accessing prenatal care, reducing preterm births, reducing maternal and infant mortality, increasing screening for postpartum depression, improving diets, and breastfeeding. You can explore the full set of Healthy People 2030 objectives here.
We are especially thrilled that Healthy People 2030 includes 2 objectives related to breastfeeding. Originally, the list of proposed objectives for Healthy People 2030 included only 1 breastfeeding objective – a major reduction from the 8 objectives that were part of Healthy People 2020. But, 1,000 Days and others spoke up about the importance of breastfeeding for the health of moms and babies, and they listened. Healthy People 2030 now includes the following 2 breastfeeding objectives:
- Increase the proportion of infants who are breastfed at 1 year
- Increase the proportion of infants who are breastfed exclusively through 6 months of age
We are also pleased that Healthy People 2030 includes 2 objectives related to reducing food insecurity. The original list of proposed objectives included only 1 food insecurity objective, whereas Healthy People 2020 had previously included 2 objectives. 1,000 Days urged the Healthy People initiative to retain both objectives – one focused on household hunger and one focused on child hunger – and they did. Healthy People 2030 now includes these 2 food insecurity objectives:
- Reduce household food insecurity and in doing so reduce hunger
- Eliminate very low food security among children
There is an old cliché that says, “what gets measured, gets done,” so the inclusion of these objectives in Healthy People 2030 is a win for moms and babies across the country!
To learn more about Healthy People 2030, visit HealthyPeople.gov.