A review of the Healthy People 2010 report unveiled Thursday shows we’ve made significant progress in an array of health improvement initiatives, yet health disparities and child and adult obesity remain considerable challenges for public health professionals.
The review took a look at over 700 health indicators between 2000 and 2010. It’s seen as a roadmap for the country intended to galvanize state, local and federal health departments to seize new opportunities to improve health for all Americans.
“Using a foundation like this is critical to align our efforts,” said Howard Koh, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services assistant secretary, on a call with key stakeholders to discuss the main findings of the review.
While we’ve made considerable progress in the majority of the objectives evaluated in the report, the nation is falling short in reaching all its goals.
Life expectancy in the U.S, a leading indicator of health disparities, has increased among whites by one year over the past decade. However, the life expectancy of a black child is five years less than a white child. Koh, who leads the Health People initiative, called the results “disappointing.”
According to the review, the adult obesity rate has jumped to 34 percent in 2008 from 23 percent in 1994, a 50 percent increase. Cancer mortality dropped 11 percent over the past decade, but still didn’t meet its target.
To learn more about the report or review updated topic areas for Healthy People 2020, go to http://www.healthypeople.gov/.