Let’s Go! has honored 1,041 sites across Maine and New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington Valley for creating environments that support healthy lifestyle choices. 109 schools, 313 school cafeterias, 120 out-of-school programs and 363 child care programs are implementing the program’s five evidence-based strategies to increase healthy eating and active living. 136 health care practices are helping to reinforce these messages by talking with patients about the importance of healthy habits.
Let’s Go! sites are committed to making it easier for children to eat well and be active. Among sites reporting, 90 percent limit or eliminate sugary drinks and promote water as the drink of choice, 86 percent prohibit the use of food as a reward, and 81 percent limit unhealthy choices during snacks and celebrations, focusing on alternatives. Additionally, 92 percent of evaluated sites provide opportunities for physical activity outside of recess on a daily basis.
“Let’s Go! is proud to partner with over 1,500 sites to promote healthy changes in the places where children and families live, learn, work, and play,” said Tory Rogers, M.D., senior director of Let’s Go!. “Our partners play a crucial role in the success of this program and work hard every day to encourage healthier choices throughout our communities.”
Introduced in 2012, the Let’s Go! recognition program identifies and celebrates schools, out-of-school programs, and child care programs for their role in improving the health of all children. The program focuses on sustainable change. A Bronze award reflects a site implementing the program’s five evidence-based priority strategies. Silver acknowledges a site for implementing the five strategies and communicating Let’s Go! messages to parents and family members. Gold, the highest level of recognition, is reserved for sites that have implemented the strategies, communicated messages, and written all five strategies into policy.
School cafeterias are recognized for helping kids make the healthy choice the easy choice. Awards are given at the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. Recognition status is determined based on the number of Smarter Lunchrooms strategies implemented during the school year. Of the school cafeterias reporting, 95 percent serve easy-to-eat sliced or cut fruit and 91 percent offer a variety of vegetables to appeal to choosy taste buds.
Let’s Go! also recognizes health care practices for encouraging patients to make healthy choices every day. Health care practices are recognized as a Site of Distinction for following three of the program’s five evidence-based steps, and an Advanced Site of Distinction for following all five steps.
Let’s Go! partners with 1,587 sites across 292 towns. 1,041 Let’s Go! sites met the criteria for recognition this year – a 13 percent increase from 2018. A listing of all recognized sites can be found at https://sites.letsgo.org/
About Let’s Go!
Let’s Go! is a nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention program that reaches children and families where they live, learn, work and play. Let’s Go! is committed to promoting policy and environmental changes at child care programs, schools, out-of-school programs, health care practices, and workplaces. The program’s multi-setting approach, daily 5-2-1-0 message (five or more fruits and vegetables, two hours or less of screen time, one hour or more of physical activity and zero sugary drinks) and 10 evidence-based strategies are used to effect change across the state of Maine. Strong leadership from The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center and collaboration across health systems and community health coalitions contribute to the program’s success.