Nutrition and Weight Status Workgroup Objectives (17)
About the Workgroup
Approach and Rationale
The goal of the NWS objectives is to promote health and reduce chronic disease risk through diet and weight control. Consuming a nutritious diet adequate in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while limiting saturated fat, sodium, and calories from added sugars can help people achieve and maintain a healthy body weight and reduce their risk of developing certain chronic diseases. However, many Americans don’t follow this dietary advice. Furthermore, too many adults and children have obesity. For example, in 2015 and 2016, about 40 percent of adults and 20 percent of children and adolescents in the United States had obesity,1 and from 2013 to 2016, Americans consumed an average of 3,604 milligrams of sodium per day, exceeding daily recommendations by more than 1,000 milligrams.2
Core objectives selected by the NWS Workgroup reflect a scientific consensus that consuming a nutrient-rich diet and maintaining a proper body weight have numerous health benefits and are facilitated by having adequate food security. One objective also highlights counseling for people with obesity during physician office visits.
The NWS objectives and targets are aligned with federal nutrition policies encompassed by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,3 and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.4 All Healthy People 2030 NWS core objectives must have appropriate baseline data and the expectation of additional data points from approved sources becoming available during the decade.
Understanding Nutrition and Weight Status
A healthful diet is characterized by consuming a variety of nutrient-dense foods within and across food groups to ensure adequate intake of nutrients with public health significance — for example, calcium, potassium, iron, and vitamin D — and to balance calories to maintain a healthy body weight.3
Although poor dietary habits are widespread in the United States, some racial/ethnic groups are disproportionately affected and are more likely to have diet-related chronic diseases. For example, the prevalence of obesity is higher among non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics than non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic Asians, and the prevalence of hypertension is higher among non-Hispanic blacks than non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, and Asians.5,6 Similar disparities exist with respect to food insecurity. Low socioeconomic status, lack of social support systems, and limited access to affordable nutritious foods further impact someone’s ability to consume a healthful diet. Effective public health strategies and interventions delivered through multiple channels — for example, in schools, workplaces, and community settings — can provide individuals with relevant knowledge and skills for making healthy food choices and can help provide easy access to healthy and affordable foods.
Emerging Issues in Nutrition and Weight Status
As public health policies and programs related to nutrition adapt to an increasingly diverse and aging population throughout the decade, the need to provide culturally appropriate nutrition education programs and evidence-based interventions will grow.
Hales, C.M., Carroll, M.D., Fryar, C.D., & Ogden, C.L. Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults and Youth: United States, 2015–2016. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db288.htm
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Survey Results and Products from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/data-search/Search-the-Data#topic-area=3502
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2015) 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: 8th Edition. Retrieved from https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Final Recommendation Statement: Weight Loss to Prevent Obesity-Related Morbidity and Mortality in Adults: Behavioral Interventions. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/RecommendationStatementFinal/obesity-in-adults-interventions1
Hales, C.M., Carroll, M.D., Fryar, C.D., Ogden, C.L. (2017). Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults and Youth: United States, 2015–2016. (NCHS Data Brief No. 288). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Retrieved from
Fryar, C.D., Ostchega, Y., Hales, C.M., Zhang, G., Kruszon-Moran, D. (2017). Hypertension Prevalence and Control Among Adults: United States, 2015–2016. (NCHS Data Brief No. 289). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Retrieved from