In Early Childhood
Why We’re Moving in Early Childcare Centers
- Habits established in the early years of our children’s lives — from the moment that they are born to the time that they reach the age of 5 — are often those that will last a lifetime. It is vitally important, then, that we model, in these tender years, the healthy behaviors that will serve kids best as they develop and grow. Since more and more children now spend their days in early childcare centers, these facilities play an-ever increasing role in creating healthier futures for those in their care.
- It is estimated that just over 25% of Pennsylvania’s low-income children ages 2 to 5 are overweight or obese.1 Let’s Move Pittsburgh is reaching Pittsburgh’s youngest population through two primary initiatives that aim to instill healthy habits in kids at an early age. For the third year, Let’s Move Pittsburgh has extended a grant opportunity, called Champion Schools, to early childcare centers. Parents, volunteers and educators may apply for grant funds to use towards health and wellness projects in early childcare centers. Let’s Move Pittsburgh is also engaging the early childhood sector by integrating the 5-2-1-0 campaign into local centers. Created by Let’s Go!, 5-2-1-0 is a campaign with four key messages: 5 or more serving of fruits and vegetables, less than 2 hours of recreational screen time, 1 or more hours of physical activity and 0 sugary drinks and more water.
Why We're Moving in Schools
- The school environment is vital to children's health and wellness since students spend the majority of their day in the classroom. Principals, teachers, parents and the community all have a role in helping to make schools healthier places by integrating physical activity throughout the day, teaching children about the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle and providing nutritious meals as part of the school day.
- In Pennsylvania, over 30% of children in grades K-6 are overweight or obese and almost 35% of children in grades 7-12 are overweight or obese.2 Let’s Move Pittsburgh is actively involved in Allegheny County schools with the goal of teaching kids about healthy habits and building healthier school environments. For the fourth year, Let’s Move Pittsburgh has awarded Champion Schools grants to elementary schools in Allegheny County for school-based health and wellness projects. Beginning in 2015, Let’s Move Pittsburgh is partnering with schools to lead a 5-2-1-0 campaign. Founded by Let’s Go!, 5-2-1-0 is a creative way to remember four healthy habits- 5 or more serving of fruits and vegetables, less than 2 hours of recreational screen time, 1 or more hours of physical activity and 0 sugary drinks and more water. Let’s Move Pittsburgh is also working with its partner organizations to develop a guide for Pittsburgh schools that will contain helpful information on local and national health resources for schools.
Why We're Moving in Healthcare
- Parents of overweight and obese children often assume responsibility for their child’s weight, but national health care associations, health insurance companies, and physical health care providers (such as pediatricians and family physicians) hold an equally important role in preventing, identifying, and treating childhood overweight and obesity. Healthcare provides can help children be healthy by preparing policy statements on obesity, educating parents on the importance of breastfeeding for infants and healthy diets for kids and using research to inform initiatives to keep families healthy. The health care industry in Pittsburgh and across the United States understands it has an obligation to prevent this epidemic from escalating, for the sake of future generations.
In Homes and Communities
Why We're Moving in Homes and Communities
- The time children spent out of school at home or in the greater community largely influences eating habits and physical activity rates. In Pennsylvania, over 30% of children in grades K-6 are overweight or obese and almost 35% of children in grades 7-12 are overweight or obese.2 This public health problem is not limited to kids. In 2014, Pennsylvania was ranked 31st in the United States for adult obesity.3 Both parents and their children can benefit from more opportunities to be physically active and eat a healthy diet. Families also need access to the resources and tools that can help them achieve their optimal health status.
- Let’s Move Pittsburgh is dedicated to being a reliable source of information on children’s health to parents in the Pittsburgh region. Parents are invited to get involved with Let’s Move Pittsburgh through the biennial symposium, Let’s Move Pittsburgh Family Yoga and by taking the 10,000 Tables pledge to eat more family meals. Families and community centers can also participate in Let’s Move Pittsburgh’s newly launched 5-2-1-0 campaign that promotes four healthy habits: 5 or more serving of fruits and vegetables, less than 2 hours of recreational screen time, 1 or more hours of physical activity and 0 sugary drinks and more water.
- Let’s Move Pittsburgh has developed a free mobile app and texting program to help families stay on track while purchasing packaged foods and beverages at the grocery store. The app, Green Light Foods, allows users to scan the barcodes of packaged items and displays the levels of sugar, salt, fat and saturated fat in the scanned item. The 5-2-1-0 Texting Program allows users to receive two text messages a week with helpful, healthy tips from medical professionals. Recognizing the need for nutrition interventions in the growing restaurant industry in Pittsburgh, Let’s Move Pittsburgh has created a working group with local chefs, restaurant managers and registered dietitians to help make the healthy choice, the easy choice when dining out.
- With strong roots in the greater community of Pittsburgh, Let’s Move Pittsburgh provides direct health education and promotion through tabling at health fairs/events, delivering presentations on healthy lifestyles, leading healthy activities and more. For more information on how to bring Let’s Move Pittsburgh to one of your events, please contact us at email@example.com.
In the Food and Beverage Industry
Why We're Moving in the Food and Beverage Industry
- The food we eat plays a large role in our overall health and wellbeing. Busy schedules and the demands of modern life can make it hard to cook three meals a day. As an alternative, many families choose to dine out at restaurants, cafes and fast food chains. Among residents of Allegheny County, 57% report that that there are many opportunities to buy fast foods in their neighborhoods.4 Frequent consumption of fast foods can be harmful since these items tend to be high in sugar, salt, fat and saturated fat. Over time, the consumption of unhealthy foods can lead to weight gain and poor health. Restaurants can help improve the diets of children and their families by offering healthier options with more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein.
- Let’s Move Pittsburgh has developed a free mobile app to help families stay on track while purchasing packaged foods and beverages at the grocery store. The app, Green Light Foods, allows users to scan the barcodes of packaged items and displays the levels of sugar, salt, fat and saturated fat in the scanned item. Recognizing the need for nutrition interventions in the growing restaurant industry in Pittsburgh, Let’s Move Pittsburgh has created a working group with local chefs, restaurant managers and registered dietitians to help make the healthy choice the easy choice when dining out.
1 Childhood Obesity Action Network. State Obesity Profiles (2009).
2 Pennsylvania Department of Health (2013). Pennsylvania obesity data and trends.
3 United Health Foundation (2014).
4 Documét P. I., Bear T. M., & Green H.H. (2012). Results from the 2009-2010 Allegheny County Health Survey (ACHS): Measuring the health of adult residents. Allegheny County Health Department, The Evaluation Institute.
Select photos © Cory Doman, Adam Milliron, Brian Cohen