the 42 Healthy People 2020 topics had written objectives, the committee could propose objectives for the three topics under development. Those topics are: social determinants of health; health-related quality of life and well-being; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health. The committee also received clarification from HHS that the 12 topics selected by the committee did not need to be drawn from the list of 42 topics listed in Healthy People 2020.

The following pages make up the letter report and provide the committee’s recommendations regarding that task described above. The report is organized as follows. First is a brief discussion of Healthy People 2020, its mission, goals, and foundation health measures, all of which served as background information for the committee in completing its task. Next is the presentation of the committee’s recommendations concerning topics, indicators, and objectives. This is followed by a discussion of the committee process, the framework and the process used to select objectives, and a discussion of the selection of topics and indicators. A detailed discussion of each of the selected objectives is then presented as well as suggestions for measures that could be used in the three Healthy People topic areas for which no objectives exist: social determinants of health; health-related quality of life and well being; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health.


Healthy People has evolved during the three decades in which it has existed. In 1990, Healthy People 2000 had two overarching goals, 15 topic areas, and 226 objectives. Today Healthy People 2020 has four overarching goals, 42 topics areas (of which 39 contain objectives), and nearly 600 objectives. The mission of Healthy People 2020 is to

  • Identify nationwide health improvement priorities;

  • Increase public awareness and understanding of determinants of health, disease, disability, and opportunities for progress;

  • Provide measureable objectives and goals applicable at national, state, and local levels;

  • Engage multiple sectors to take actions to strengthen policies and improve practices that are driven by the best available evidence and knowledge; and

  • Identify critical research evaluation and data collection needs.

The following are the overarching goals of Healthy People 2020:

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