A collaboration effort of the Florida Department of Health, Sodexo Food Services and Upthegrove Elementary School has resulted in the start of new healthy nutrition program. Student in grades Kindergarten and First Grade are being taught the importance of 5-2-1-0. Five fruits and vegetables a day, 2 hours or less of TV or Computer time, 1 hour each day of physical activities and 0 sugar sweeten drinks. Students will also learn about different types and preparation methods of fruits and vegetables. They will also lean about the fruits and vegetables that are locally grown here in Florida. Students will then be given an opportunity to try a wide variety of the fruits and vegetables during the program. In addition to trying the new foods the students will also have the opportunity to have the same foods to select from during school lunch.
According to studies by the Center for Disease Control, since 1980, the percentage of children who are overweight has more than doubled, while rates among adolescents have more than tripled. In recent years, several weight-related conditions that were observed primarily among adults have been increasingly diagnosed in young people. For example, 10 years ago type 2 diabetes was almost unknown among young people, but now accounts for nearly 50 percent of new cases of diabetes among children or adolescents. An estimated 61 percent of overweight young people have at least one additional risk factor for heart disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Being overweight as a student is also associated with social and psychological problems, such as discrimination and poor self-esteem.
It has been shown that, children and adolescents who are overweight are more likely to become overweight or obese adults. Obesity in adults is associated with increased risks of premature death, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, osteoarthritis, and many other health problems.
Pictured: Kevin Long, RN and School Health Nurse, from the Florida Department of Health presents the 5-2-1-0 Program to students at Upthegrove Elementary School