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Community Health Needs Assessment

LET'S GO!

Inland Hospital Fights Childhood Obesity with Let’s Go!

Over the past 30 years, the rate of children ages 6-11 who are overweight or obese has nearly tripled and for the first time in history, children born today are likely to live a shorter life than their parents. In Maine, 31% of Maine high school students are overweight or obese and the statistics for overweight and obese adults are even more alarming at 67%*. Medical costs related to preventable health woes linked to obesity continue to soar.

A program called “Let’s Go!” is one proven solution to help combat the childhood obesity epidemic that’s working here in Maine. Let’s Go! reaches children and families where they live, learn, work and play with a consistent message that promotes four healthy behaviors: 5-2-1-0. (5 or more fruits & vegetables; 2 hours of less recreational screen time; 1 hour or more of active play; and 0 sugary drinks/more water & low fat milk per day) The nationally recognized program designed to increase healthy eating and active living in children is growing in schools, daycares, workplaces, healthcare sites, after-school programs, and communities around the state and across the country.

Inland Hospital, a Let’s Go! dissemination partner, is supporting the program by promoting 5-2-1-0 throughout the community. The program is implemented in all of its hospital-owned family practices, and all family practices have been recognized by Let’s Go! as healthcare sites of distinction. Let’s Go! posters and resources are found throughout the offices and providers consistently track height and weight of their pediatric patients. Healthy Habits Surveys given at all well-child visits with children two and older lay the groundwork for respectful conversations around healthy habits that can help children and families lead a healthier lifestyle and achieve or maintain a healthy weight.

Besides the healthcare sector, Inland’s Let’s Go! program reaches children and their families through child care facilities, schools, and out of school programs. Inland’s popular Let’s Go! Family Fun Series has provided free monthly events and activities for hundreds of local families to have fun being active together since 2012.  By reaching families where they live, learn, work and play, the Let’s Go! program can foster healthy habits for all children starting from a young age.

If you would like to learn more about Let’s Go! visit www.letsgo.org or contact Ellen Wells, Community Wellness Team Leader at Inland Hospital at 861-3292 or ewells@emhs.org.

Note to parents: For free resources please visit the Let's Go! Parents Resources page. 

*Data from 2016 Shared Community Health Needs Assessment