Categorized | Health

‘Hawaii 5-2-1-0’ tackles childhood obesity

The University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), its Department of Pediatrics, and the Hawaii Initiative for Childhood Obesity Research and Education (HICORE) are launching a new community campaign to prevent childhood obesity. (Photo courtesy of UH Foundation)


The University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), its Department of Pediatrics, and the Hawaii Initiative for Childhood Obesity Research and Education (HICORE) are launching a new community campaign to prevent childhood obesity. Several local healthcare organizations are supporting this collaborative effort.

Based at the JABSOM Department of Pediatrics, the Hawaii 5-2-1-0 Let’s Go Initiative aims to prevent childhood obesity through a coordinated, health education campaign which promotes a healthy lifestyle message. This new initiative is modeled after successful programs in other states. It will provide practical tools and materials for Hawaii’s doctors and families to address this issue.

“A 2003 population-based study of children entering kindergarten in Hawaii found that 28.5 percent were either overweight or obese. The problem was worse in rural communities where 30-40 percent of Hawaii’s kindergarteners were already overweight and obese. Obesity prevention clearly needs to be a priority for our community,” said Dr. Kenneth Nakamura, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Hawaii Chapter and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at JABSOM.

The name Hawaii 5-2-1-0 sums up four key healthy lifestyle recommendations:

* 5 or more fruits or vegetables a day
* 2 hours or less of screen time a day
* 1 hour or more of physical activity per day
* 0 sugary drinks

The Hawaii 5-2-1-0 leaders understand the complex health disparities related to childhood obesity and will focus initial efforts on high-risk families and under-served communities in Hawaii as well as the physicians and organizations who serve them.

Clinical tools, continuing medical education seminars and educational materials are being developed to assist providers in engaging families in discussions about healthy lifestyles.

The materials will reflect the culture and interests of Hawaii’s families and will be translated into several different languages spoken in Hawaii.

The Hawaii 5-2-1-0 team will then develop a coordinated strategy to maximize the dissemination of the message to Hawaii’s families through additional community partnerships, as well as electronic and social media.

“We are very excited about collaborating with our community partners in this important endeavor. They have been crucial players, bringing both financial support and helping us to develop strategies to reach the families of Hawaii,” said Dr. May Okihiro, director, Hawaii Initiative for Childhood Obesity Research and Education (HICORE), Dept. of Pediatrics, JABSOM.

She continued, “By working together, we can begin to address the issues that make it so difficult for families to make healthy lifestyle choices.”

Local healthcare leaders are partnering with the HICORE team by providing financial support and disseminating the materials in their clinics and health centers.

To date, donors to the Hawaii 5-2-1-0 Initiative include HMSA Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Hawaii Region, the Hawaii Primary Care Association, University Health Alliance and AlohaCare.

Other organizations will use the message and materials in their work in the community to promote healthy eating and active living.

These include the Hawaii Nutrition and Physical Activity Coalition, the American Academy of Pediatrics – Hawaii Chapter, the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, Kapiolani Community College Culinary Arts Program, Med Quest Hawaii, Hawaii After School All Stars, The Department of Health Healthy Hawaii Initiative, the Hawaii Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (HAHPERD), and Kahoomiki, which oversees training of A+ Afterschool Program staff across the Islands.

“We look forward to using these materials and the Hawaii 5-2-1-0 message in our pediatric and family clinics as well as in our work with the community,” noted Dr. Cristeta Ancog, pediatrician, Kaiser Permanente, Hawaii Region and an active member of the HICORE team.

“We are very pleased to celebrate and support this unique partnership with the University of Hawaii, the major health plans in Hawaii and the community,” said Cliff K. Cisco, senior vice president, Hawaii Medical Services Association (HMSA) and vice president, HMSA Foundation. “By promoting a consistent message about healthy lifestyles across the state, we can raise awareness, create interest and catalyze change.”

The Hawaii 5-2-1-0 Let’s Go Initiative will create an infrastructure that brings organizations and efforts together in the promotion of healthy lifestyles. Hawaii 5-2-1-0 will create an information exchange portal for local organizations and families to learn about and share activities related to healthy lifestyles.

By working together and learning from each other, efforts to promote family wellness through healthy eating and active living will have a greater impact.

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