Let’s Go! has documented success in changing environments and policies to support and increase healthy behaviors and awareness. In addition to measuring program implementation, we also measure impact by tracking Maine state surveillance of 5‐2‐1‐0 behaviors among Maine students from the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS). 2015 MIYHS data shows a general upward trend in the 5-2-1-0 behaviors. Most strikingly, the percent of Maine students who drank zero sugary beverages daily has significantly increased for all tracked age groups (grades 5-12) from 2011 to 2015.
Also from 2011 to 2015, MIYHS data shows a flattening trend in obesity rates for Maine students. There was a decrease in the prevalence of overweight for 7th/8th grade students and no significant change in weight status for other grades during the same period. While decreasing the prevalence of obesity is the ultimate goal, a positive first step is having obesity rates remain steady.
Let’s Go! is working to decrease childhood obesity, one healthy choice at a time. For 10 years the 5-2-1-0 program has focused on creating healthier classrooms, cafeterias, child care and out-of-school programs. All this hard work is paying off; healthy habits are increasing and childhood obesity rates among Maine students are leveling off.
The program’s multi-setting model includes schools, out-of-school programs, child care programs, healthcare practices, worksites, and community settings to reach families where they live, learn, work and play to reinforce the importance of healthy living. The program is based on the premise that if children and families are exposed to the same health promotion message through several settings, and if those settings have policies and environments that support healthy choices, children and families will be more likely to adopt or maintain the behaviors in their daily lives.
Decreasing childhood obesity, one healthy choice at a time