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5-2-1-0 WHY!

The four 5-2-1-0 behaviors (increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, increased physical activity, reduced recreational screen-time, and limited consumption of sugar sweetened beverages) meet recommendations promoted by the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (2011) and Healthy People 2020: Nutrition and Weight Status.



Initial footing for this concept began in Massachusetts in 1998 with the community grant program “Jump Up & Go.” In 2001, the program created the three component, 5-2-1 messaging. Several years later, the Maine Youth Overweight Collaborative (MYOC) added the “O” concept and goals. With this core messaging, a partnership of businesses and healthcare agencies in Portland, Maine launched “Let’s GO!” in 2006 aimed at reducing childhood obesity.



Since the inception of this program, 5-2-1-0 messaging has been integrated into campaigns in many states and Canada with the aim of reducing childhood obesity and increasing overall childhood wellness. Each new area of impact has delivered this message in newly created logos and in some cases, extended versions of 5-2-1-0.



In 2011, in an effort to combat the alarming incidence of diabetes in Marion County Oregon, a community collaborative task force, “I love ME” (Move Right. Eat Healthier.), decided to put the evidence based 5-2-1-0 messaging in place. A colorful, cross generational, explicit logo was created (Huun, 2011). With the use of rebranded 5-2-1-0 messaging, the development team (Huun & Nutrition Etcetera LLC., 2011) reframed the conversation from pediatric obesity prevention to healthy living and chronic disease prevention across the lifespan.

The development team packaged the message as a “30 day Challenge” to enable those who are overwhelmed with lifestyle change to realize the simplicity of the concept and perceive it as easier to integrate into their current lifestyle. The 5210 in 30 Challenge includes “tracking” to help participants adopt lifestyle changes as research (Burke, Wang, & Sevick, 2011) supports self-monitoring as a means to substantially enhance weight loss success and, in turn, impact chronic disease prevention.



The simplistic 5-2-1-0 message, reflecting four key behaviors that lower risk for chronic disease, can improve community health. By sharing the Challenge with friends and family, your worksite or school and creating environments that support these habits, your community can become healthier.


For more information or to receive school toolkits and worksite tool kits, contact us.



Burke, L., Wang, J., & Sevick, M. (2011). Self-monitoring in weight loss: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 111(1), 92-102. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2010.10.00


For additional materials to support wellness for schools, workplaces, and medical clinics please contact us.