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Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge introduces 5-2-1-0 to schools

posted Nov 21, 2017, 7:12 AM by Cheryl Shuffler   [ updated Nov 21, 2017, 7:14 AM ]

Do you want to help fight childhood obesity? Take the pledge and join the 5-2-1-0 League!

Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge and Burke County Public School are reaching out to fourth-graders to team up for Healthy Together, a fun new health effort to encourage students and family to focus on healthier options.

What is 5-2-1-0?

5 - Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables.

2 - Limit recreational screen time, including television, video game and smartphone viewing, to fewer than two hours per day.

1 - Be physically active for at least one hour per day.

0 - Avoid sugary drinks, and instead aim for water or low-fat milk.


The initiative, adopted by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2008, is based on a national program focusing on creating healthier environments. “The program started as a way to prevent childhood obesity,” says Brent Pearson, Wellness Coach at Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge and program coordinator. “This year we are offering the program for free to fourth-graders in participating schools. We hope to expand the program in the future.”


Carolinas HealthCare Blue Ridge’s Wellness Team, made up of Pearson, Stephanie Culp, Wellness Manager, and Aubrey Bradshaw, will be added to the school’s physical education curriculum. “We are so excited about this new community outreach program,” says Culp. “It’s a great opportunity to plant a seed in the minds of our children about being healthy and active.”


The team has plenty of tips for students and parents to help reach their goals. “We will have a pep rally to kick off the program and get the kids excited,” says Pearson. “We come back throughout the year to offer encouragement, tips and handouts.”


One of the first schools to sign up for the program is Ray Childers Elementary School where PE teacher Michael Steele is an enthusiastic supporter. “The program will implement activities and ideas that in return will impact our students in a positive way,” says Michael Steele, the physical education teacher. “The 5-2-1-0 program is a very well-designed program regarding promoting healthy choices for our students. We are excited to join.”


Healthy Together encourages families to join their kids in the 5-2-1-0 League and follow healthy habits every day. “Our children are the future generations of society and the impact of the program on the lives of our students will hopefully change the future generations to come,” says Steele. “For example, cigarette smoking is currently less common versus 30 years ago. Therefore, the program could change choices 20-30 years ahead by educating our students that soft drinks, sweets, etc., are not healthy choices or the best choices and could be eventually viewed in the same manner as many people currently view cigarettes.”


Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Putnam says the program is a great guideline to follow for healthy living. “We are so excited that our partners at Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge are rolling this out in our schools,” he says. “It is an awesome starting point for our students and adults to think about what we are putting in our bodies, how much time we are spending in front of a screen and how much - or how little - we are moving. Healthy, happy children make great students, and we look forward to this program impacting their lives for years to come."


Adds Ray Childers Principal Heidi Bristol, “Healthful living education creates healthy and happy children. The 5-2-1-0 program directly connects to our healthful living curriculum and we are thrilled to be chosen to participate.”





To make the program more fun, the 5-1-2-0 League has a cast of characters:

Screen Machine – He started as a simple smart phone, but with his bright gadgets and new technology, he tries to lure boys and girls to the Legion of Lazy.

Grouch Potato – A lazy tater who spends too much time in front of the TV, doesn’t exercise and drinks sugary drinks.

Action Ace – Our hero. He always stands up to the Legion of Lazy. He is strong, fit and athletic because he learned his lessons from Doctor Fit.

Doctor Fit – Our hero. She understands the importance of eating right, exercise regularly and reduction recreational screen time. She helps steer kids away from the path to the Legion of Lazy.

“Led by Dr. Fit and Action Ace, the league strives to teach families how to be healthy together,” Pearson says. “By eating more fruits and vegetables, being physically active for at least one hour per day, limiting recreational screen time, and avoiding sugary drinks, your family can join the League and make the pledge to be healthy together.”

To find out more about Healthy Together, please visit CHSBR.org/HealthyTogether/