Let’s Go LinCo Takes Healthy Weight Message to Area Schools
By Cindy Hutter
A team dedicated to promoting healthy weight in their community of Lincoln County, Wash., is hoping by taking their healthy weight message to area schools that it will trickle through families and improve the overall health of the community.
“The Let’s Go LinCo campaign strives to inspire individuals, families and communities to incorporate healthy behaviors into their lifestyles to improve health status,” says Lincoln County Health Department Healthy Communities Coordinator Jolene Erickson.
According to Erickson, 34 percent of elementary school kids in Lincoln County are at risk of being overweight or are overweight, and 25 percent of adults report being obese. “Incorporating healthy behaviors in our everyday lives can have an impact,” she says.
Using a message called “5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Let’s Go LinCo,” the team taught kids in three elementary schools about five daily health behaviors:
- Eating five or more fruits or vegetables
- Drinking four or more glasses of water
- Consuming three or more low fat dairy products
- Limiting recreational screen time to less than two hours
- Doing at least one hour of physical activity
|Second graders from P.C. Jantz Elementary in Odessa, Wash., show off their new Let’s Go t-shirts.
The five-week program in the schools culminated with each student receiving a Let’s Go T-shirt as a reminder of what they learned. The hope is that the kids will take the message home and share it with family members, says Chelsea Wagner, an intern from Central Washington University studying community health education who worked with the students.
In addition to the education component, the Davenport School District adopted strategies to make cafeteria food from scratch through training from the Cooks for America Culinary Boot Camp. Other area schools are excited about implementing this transition away from processed foods once funding is made available.
“It is exciting to see the enthusiasm of Lincoln County schools to improve their policies and systems to provide healthier environments,” says Public Health Administrator Ed Dzedzy. “The schools have allowed us into their classrooms with this program, they have incorporated student health reports, including BMI, and they have started discussion to improve their food service and nutrition policies.”
The team from Lincoln County, Wash., is one of 49 participating in NICHQ’s (National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality) Healthy Weight Collaborative, which brought together representatives from primary care, public health and community-based sectors to implement healthy weight interventions. The initiative works with local communities, states and other interested groups to develop practical approaches to prevent and treat obesity for children and families.
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