A newly-released report on Americans’ health status shows that improvement in many areas is offset by continued decline in others. According to 2010 America’s Heath Rankings (released yesterday), the nation’s overall health improved from 20.3 percent in 2009 to 21.3 percent in 2010. But reductions in smoking, preventable hospitalizations and infectious disease were offset by continued increases in obesity, children in poverty, lack of health insurance and high school dropout rates. America’s Health Rankings is an annual comprehensive assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by-state basis and is published jointly by United Health Foundation, APHA and Partnership for Prevention.
Looking forward to the next decade, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last week unveiled Healthy People 2020, the nation’s new 10-year goals and objectives for health promotion and disease prevention. For 30 years, Healthy People has set targets for health outcomes and objectives for reaching those targets. Healthy People provides a framework for public health prevention priorities and actions.