What 2 Healthy People 2030 Objectives Tell Us About the Nation’s Nutrition

When it comes to healthy diets, the science says to eat more vegetables and consume less sugar. And that’s what the Dietary Guidelines for Americans has told us for years. Nutrition is key to health and well-being, but as Healthy People 2030 data indicate, we’ve got more work to do — especially when you consider that most American diets don’t align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

ODPHP’s Healthy People initiative provides evidence-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health and well-being of all people. Healthy People 2030 is the fifth iteration of the initiative and tracks more than 350 measurable objectives assessing health and well-being. As the longest-running disease prevention and health promotion program in the nation, Healthy People objectives serve as national benchmarks that inform decision-making at all levels of government, in organizations, and across multiple sectors.

As part of ODPHP’s participation in National Nutrition Month®, an annual campaign sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, we decided to take a look at the progress on 2 nutrition-related Healthy People 2030 objectives: NWS‑07: Increase vegetable consumption by people aged 2 years and older and NWS‑10: Reduce consumption of added sugars by people aged 2 years and over. The status of these objectives should serve as a wake-up call for professionals and others.

Diets that are high in added sugars contribute to a range of health problems, including weight gain and obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Given this impact, it should come as no surprise that a decrease in the consumption of added sugars is a Healthy People 2030 Leading Health Indicator (LHI). Most LHIs address important factors that impact major causes of death and disease in the United States, and they help organizations, communities, and states focus their resources and efforts to improve the health and well-being of their constituent populations. As the data indicate, there has been little to no detectable change in the consumption of added sugars by people aged 2 and older.

The Healthy People 2030 objective to increase the consumption of vegetables also shows little or no detectable change. This is a cause for concern because we know that vegetables are a critical part of healthy diets and are connected to a lower risk of many diseases.

How can professionals help achieve positive progress toward the Healthy People 2030 objectives? First, you can familiarize yourselves with Healthy People 2030 Nutrition and Healthy Eating objectives. There you can track progress, look at disparities data, and find a variety of evidence-based resources to support disease prevention and improve health.

In addition, to help individuals and communities work toward healthy diets, you can use tools developed as part of the latest edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans — a toolkit for professionals that contains resources on how to start conversations with patients about building healthy eating routines, cutting down on added sugars, and more. You can share these tools and resources with clients, patients, and others. We all have a role to play in helping people in the United States lead healthier lives.

Stay in the loop with ODPHP’s National Nutrition Month® activities by following us online @HealthGov and @FitnessGov on X, Facebook and LinkedIn. And follow the conversation with the hashtag #nutritioninMarch.

Categories: health.gov Blog, National Health Observances, Spotlight