A variety of fruits and vegetables line the shelves of Bamboo Market in downtown Steamboat Springs. The 5-2-1-0 challenge called for participants to eat at least five servings of these foods a day.

Photo by Scott Franz

A variety of fruits and vegetables line the shelves of Bamboo Market in downtown Steamboat Springs. The 5-2-1-0 challenge called for participants to eat at least five servings of these foods a day.

More veggies and less TV time will give you a leg up in LiveWell's 5-2-1-0 challenge

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— The latest health challenge to arrive in Northwest Colorado will seem like a tall order to some people.

Watch less television, and don’t play as many video games.

Eat more fruits and vegetables.

Completely erase those sodas from your diet.

Oh, and squeeze at least an hour of physical activity into each day.

At a glance

Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0

■ 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables

■ 2 or fewer hours of recreational screen time

■ 1 or more hours of physical activity

■ 0 sugary drinks

Online: www.letsgo.org

Source: LiveWell Northwest Colorado

Several kids in Routt County’s four elementary schools have successfully done it. Now, LiveWell Northwest Colorado hopes parents and other community members are able to do it, too.

For all 31 days of October, the nonprofit that promotes healthy lifestyles is challenging Routt County residents to enter its 5-2-1-0 community challenge.

That means eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day, spending no more than two hours in front of a television, doing at least one hour of physical activity and consuming zero sugary drinks.

Sound tough?

LiveWell Northwest Colorado Community Coordinator Barb Parnell said some people won’t be able to change their current habits and make this all happen overnight.

But she said even logging your current habits and making small improvements to the 5-2-1-0 formula can go a long way.

“Find small changes that are realistic to fit into your day,” Parnell said. “If you drink two sugary drinks a day, try dropping it back by one at first. These are small changes that you can make and probably won’t even notice the difference.”

She said the children who participate in the program often make significant improvements to their diets and lifestyles by the end of the challenge.

The challenge comes as obesity is on the rise in Routt County.

According to LiveWell, 51 percent of the county’s adults are either overweight or obese, and the number of youths who fit those descriptions has increased from 16 to 19 percent in the past three years.

We’re also not eating enough fruits and vegetables. The organization has found 72 percent of youths and 53 percent of adults are eating three or fewer servings of these foods a day.

Residents can enter the challenge by picking up a packet at Yampa Valley Medical Center’s Community Health Resource Center, Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurses Association, Bud Werner Memorial Library, Hayden Valley Elementary School, South Routt Medical Center, Oak Creek Town Hall or Yampa Town Hall.

Everyone who enters the challenge will receive a prize.

And you don’t have to go it alone.

Office members can sign up as a team to compete for the title of healthiest workplace.

A “healthiest” classroom also will be named.

“I want our county to be the healthiest county in the healthiest state, and this is one step in the right direction,” Parnell said.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.

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Comments

walt jones 6 months, 4 weeks ago

So why is this being addressed here when a few weeks ago Routt County was the fittest county in the fittest state in the country? Shouldnt this challenge be proposed to the county in missouri that was in the article?

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