Barb Parnell: Obesity on the rise

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LiveWell Northwest Colorado, a project of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, is introducing Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0, a program aimed at increasing healthy eating and physical activity. Starting in September, you’ll see the 5-2-1-0 message being delivered to kids and families at schools, child care, after school, in the workplace and throughout Routt County communities.

The program endorses the “5-2-1-0” message, which emphasizes the importance of:

■ 5 or more fruits and vegetables a day

■ 2 hours or less of TV and computer screen time

■ 1 hour or more of physical activity

■ Zero sugary drinks, more water and low-fat milk

A national survey shows that our nation is getting fatter, with obesity rates increasing in 49 of the 50 states. The obesity rate in Colorado has more than doubled since 1995, and our rates are climbing faster than the rest of the country, yet our Colorado adults still are considered the “leanest” in the U.S., with about 55 percent of Colorado adults being overweight or obese.

More than one in four of Colorado’s children ages 10 to 17 are obese or overweight. Approximately 29 percent of Colorado children ages 2 to 14 are overweight or obese, as are 20 percent of high school-aged children. Colorado’s children fell from third leanest in the country to 23rd in the past four years.

On the local level, between 13 and 33 percent of the students in our Routt County schools are overweight, and those percentages have increased each year. Almost 50 percent of Routt County’s middle and high school students say they don’t get any more than 10 minutes of physical activity outside of PE classes during the school year.

Let’s Go! is helping you and your kids be healthy by working with families and other partners to improve healthy eating and to be more physically active. For more information about 5-2-1-0 or to get involved with this campaign, call Barb Parnell, LiveWell Northwest Colorado community coordinator for the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, at 970-819-4110 or email bparnell@nwcovna.org.

Barb Parnell is the community coordinator of LiveWell Northwest Colorado, a program of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association.

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