9-5-2-1-0 for Health® makes it easy to remember five daily habits that can help children, adults and families, live healthier lives.
Get at least nine hours of sleep per day.
Research has linked insufficient sleep with a higher risk of childhood obesity. When we are tired, we often reach for quick, unhealthy snacks to help keep us awake and/or talk ourselves out of being active due to fatigue.
Aim for five servings of vegetables and fruits per day.
Vegetables and fruits are nutrient powerhouses, rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Eating at least five servings of vegetables and fruit each day promotes good health, including lowering one's risk of obesity, heart disease, birth defects, some types of cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and infections--just to name a few. All varieties of fruits and vegetables are beneficial for health, including fresh, frozen, canned and dried. When choosing canned fruits, pick those canned in water or its own fruit juice.
Limit recreational screen time to two hours or less outside of school.
"Screen time" means television screens, computer monitors, and even the handheld devices we use for checking email, listening to music, watching TV, and playing video games on-the-go. Research consistently shows children and teenagers who spend lots of time in front of screens tend to gain more weight as they age, which may also fuel poor eating and snacking habits.
Get at least one hour of physical activity per day.
Regular physical activity benefits body and mind and plays an important role in staving off many chronic diseases. Children and adolescents should engage in at least one hour of physical activity each day. Just as the recommended 30 minutes a day for adults can be broken up into 10-minute increments, the same is true for children. Encourage your child to participate in activities that are both enjoyable and age-appropriate. Remember, variety is the spice of life so children and adolescents need to engage in three types of physical activity: aerobic, muscle strengthening, and bone strengthening.
Eliminate sugar-added beverages.
Sugary drinks are the single largest source of calories in the American diet. In fact, half of the U.S. population age two and older consumes at least one sugary drink on any given day (Ogden, 2011). Additionally, portion sizes are out of control, and the average size of a fountain drink in the U.S. has increased 500 percent over the last 60 years. Why is this cause for concern? Sugar-added beverages have been directly linked to weight gain, obesity, poor diet, and, in adults, type 2 diabetes (Ogden, 2011). Sugar-added drinks include fruit drinks, regular carbonated beverages (sodas), energy drinks, sports drinks, and sweetened bottled waters. While 100% fruit juice is not classified as a sugary drink, it still contains high amounts of naturally occurring sugars. Therefore, moderation is key.
For more information, please visit www.95210forhealth.com, a public service website from Community Health Solutions - creator of the 95210 for Health® messaging campaign. Their Health in the Balance website is an online knowledge center designed to help engage audiences in promoting healthy living.