Authored by: Heidi Kessler, Let’s Go! Senior Program Manager
A special awareness month is intended to raise awareness about causes that may otherwise go unnoticed by the general population such as National Radon Action Month or National Kidney Month. But childhood obesity has certainly not gone unnoticed. There have been rallying cries from parents, schools, and doctors, not to mention the U.S. Surgeon General and top military officials.
While the topic of childhood obesity deserves attention, Let’s Go! wants to ensure that attention is in the form of specific actions we can take to build healthy habits. Kids who carry extra weight aren’t clamoring for more attention; they don’t want to hear about Childhood Obesity Awareness Month during their school day or see commercials about it on TV.
Let’s Go!’s mission is to reduce childhood obesity rates through healthy eating and active living lifestyle changes. We want to see ALL kids and their families eating well and moving more. The majority of Americans – regardless of weight – don’t meet government recommendations for healthy eating or physical activity. Focusing on getting more physical activity, eating more fruits and vegetables, and or cutting out the soda are important lifestyle changes that can lead to a healthy weight.
Instead of raising awareness of childhood obesity, let’s raise awareness about access to fruits, vegetables, and safe drinking water. Let’s hold food manufactures responsible for marketing sugar, fat, and salt to young children. Let’s put our phones down, limit screen time and get active.
This month, join us in celebrating a different kind of Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, we’ll call it 5-2-1-0 Awareness Month. A time to remind families that by adopting 5-2-1-0 habits, the whole family will be that much healthier:
In addition to advocating healthy habits, the Let’s Go! program works with schools, child care programs, out-of-school programs, workplaces, and health care practices to make sure that the places where kids live, learn, work, and play are conducive to 5-2-1-0. This means making sure that vending machines are well stocked with water instead of sugary drinks, unhealthy choices are limited at snack time and busy school schedules have built in activity breaks.
So please join us in raising awareness of 5-2-1-0 and check the spaces around you – do they make it easy for you to live by 5-2-1-0?