Overweight and obesity in young
children and adolescents have become a major concern and public health
threat in the U.S. Since the 1970’s, obesity has nearly doubled in
preschool children and adolescents and tripled among children ages 6-11.
Over 9 million children ages 6 years and older are considered overweight.
These alarming numbers have alerted health care providers to focus much of
their attention on prevention. Research has proven that there are multiple
causes of the obesity epidemic rather than just one. The major factors
that play a role in this epidemic are: increased consumption of high-sugar
fluids, increased portion sizes and lack of physical activity.
The 5-2-1-0 program has been adopted as an obesity prevention
program by many states. 5-2-1-0 focuses on increasing physical activity
and healthy eating among children and youth to age 18. It helps support
and guide health care providers, organizations and individuals to improve
care and outcomes for overweight and obese children.
The four positive health behaviors promoted by the 5-2-1-0 initiative are:
- 5- Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a
- 2- Limit TV and computer use to two hours or less a
- 1- Get one hour or more of physical activity every
- 0- No sugary beverages or almost none. Try water and
low fat milk instead of soda and drinks with lots of sugar.
Palm Beach County has started to
incorporate the 5-2-1-0 program into the community through doctor offices
and the Health Department to address the obesity epidemic. This initiative
will hopefully provide successful outcomes by decreasing the number of
overweight children and adolescents in the community.
Palm Beach County:
Florenzia Davis, PhD,MS,RD,LD/N
Senior Public Health Nutritionist
(561) 671-4000 x 4048