Status check on Healthy People initiatives

An occasional snapshot of current facts and trends in medicine.

Quick View. Posted Sept. 25, 2006

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Many public health experts say progress is falling short.

Goal Progress
Obesity Reduce obesity levels to 15% for adults and 5% for children and adolescents. Adult obesity levels are 16% or higher in every state. More than two-thirds (64.5%) of adults are overweight or obese. In 22 out of 31 reporting states, 10% or more of high school students are overweight.
Tobacco use Reduce tobacco use to 12% of adults and 16% of adolescents. In 2002, 23% of adults were smokers. In 2003, 22% of high school students used tobacco products.
Adult flu immunization Increase immunization rates to 90% for people 65 and older. In 2003, 68% of senior citizens received flu vaccine.
Childhood immunization Increase rate of children receiving recommended vaccinations to 80%. The United States has already achieved its target goal for childhood immunizations. In 2004, 80.9% of children received their recommended vaccinations.

At the beginning of each decade, the Dept. of Health and Human Services compiles a list of objectives designed to help Americans improve their well-being and reduce their disease burden. But some question progress, saying federal health funding is insufficient and strategies to catalyze populationwide change are lacking. These results were from selected Healthy People 2010 indicators.

Source: "Shortchanging America's Health 2006," Trust for America's Health, June

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