Iowa Councils of Governments Leading the Push for Healthier Kids and Families Across Iowa
JULY 2018 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Carl Lingen, Executive Director
Iowa Association of Councils of Governments 515-471-1304
IOWA COUNCILS OF GOVERNMENTS LEADING THE PUSH FOR HEALTHIER KIDS AND FAMILIES ACROSS IOWA
[Des Moines, Iowa] – In the fall of 2017 the Iowa Association of Councils of Governments (ICOG) in partnership with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) launched a pilot program in four communities (Malvern, Dubuque, Mt. Pleasant and West Union) to lead the 5-2-1-0 statewide push for healthier kids and families across Iowa. Following the success of this pilot program, IDPH announced an expansion to include five additional communities (Manning, Mason City, Clinton, Mount Ayr and Keosauqua) and one county-wide project (Warren County).
“Research has shown that children who have healthy eating habits, are physically active and spend less time in front of a screen do better in school,” Governor Kim Reynolds said. “Their reading scores improve, they are able to maintain better focus in class and they sleep better. Children who do better in school are more likely to pursue postsecondary education and are better equipped to contribute to Iowa’s economic success.” Governor Reynolds actively supported the public-private partnership.
At the Dubuque Community School District, nurse Rhonda Ramler oversaw the implementation of a food pantry at Lincoln Elementary School. The district purchased a refrigerator and stocked it with food for children and their families. But the primary project was the purchase and installation of a greenhouse at Eleanor Roosevelt Middle School. The district purchased a greenhouse and held a groundbreaking in early June. The students will use the garden produce in school lunches, to feed the homeless and to learn about numerous science-related projects.
In West Union, community champions have been hard at work implementing 5-2-1-0 changes. Four licensed childcare centers added policies to limit sugary drinks and screen time. The school district’s after-school program started “Try-it Tuesdays” for students to try new fruits and veggies and added extra recess time to its list of student reward options.
The local hospital is training healthcare providers on 5-2-1-0 best practices and is creating a community teaching kitchen. The library added new board games to its shelves. Park and Rec is testing out healthier concession stand options. Ashley Christensen, the regional economic development specialist at the Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission, said, “This is just a snapshot and just the beginning of 5-2-1-0 happenings in West Union.”
5-2-1-0 is a nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention program that focuses on the importance of four simple daily health habits:
• 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables.
• 2 hours or less of screen time (television, computer, video games, phones, etc.).
• 1 hour or more of physical activity.
• 0 (or reduce) sugar-sweetened beverages.
The 5-2-1-0 campaign seeks to increase physical activity and healthy eating for children from birth to 18 years through three core principles: healthy places support healthy choices, consistent messaging across sectors is essential, and strategies are based on science and recommended by the medical community.
For more information about the 5-2-1-0 campaign, visit www.idph.iowa.gov/nutrition-physical-activity/healthy-choices or http://www.iowahealthieststate.com/5210.
# # #
The Iowa Association of Councils of Governments is the trade association for the 17 Councils of Governments (COGs) in Iowa. Since 1988, ICOG has brought leaders and communities together to promote economic growth, improve public sector services and solve regional issues for the future of Iowa.