Healthy People 2010: The Decade that Wasn’t

Let’s Reach Our Goals, Not Lower Them

Imagine you are on a team that is not winning nearly as many games as you’d like to. So you set some goals that will get you to first place if you achieve them. But your team has no game plan and just practices at random. When the big game comes, your score has actually deteriorated.

What do you do now? Revisit how to achieve your goals? Set up a realistic plan? Imagine that instead of continuing to pursue your dreams, you decide to simply pick less able teams to play against so your problems won’t be so obvious.

Few would want to play on such a lackluster team. This strategy of diminishing goals does seem to appeal to the nation’s health navigators, though.

Every ten years, the federal government sets health goals for the upcoming decade. From 2000 through 2010 though, the country did not fare very well in getting to optimum health. In fact, only about one in five of the goals for Healthy People 2010 appears to have been met.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, responsible for the Healthy People program that started in the 1970s, will likely set lower goals for 2020 than it did for 2010. This is the official response to the nation’s poor performance in achieving the targets set for 2010.

Our children rely on us to point the way to lifelong health and vigor

Our children rely on us to point the way to lifelong health and vigor

As a country, we ended up going downhill on critical goals. Most importantly, obesity increased from about a quarter of all adults in 2000 to 34 percent in 2010. Obesity is the result of poor food choices, and there is no coordinated effort to educate people on the power of whole foods.

Our children are relying on us to shoot for optimum health. Let’s aim high and make a plan to get there. Plant-based nutrition is a major part of the solution, and would address virtually all goals to reduce chronic illness and risk factors. With such a straightforward way to get to the top, why settle for anything less? In the meantime, why wait for the government to wake up. You can move forward and improve your health, and your family’s, today.  Your next meal is the starting point for your own Healthy People program.

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Blog by Janice Stanger, Ph.D. Janice authored The Perfect Formula Diet, a nutrition book built on sustainable food choices. Enjoy six kinds of whole foods for permanent, hunger-free weight loss and health.

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