5210 campaign makes healthy living easier for military families

May 26, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.-- The Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State announced the launch of the 5210 Healthy Military Children and 5210 Healthy Children messaging campaigns. The campaigns were developed by research and evaluation scientists from the Clearinghouse with support from a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy (MC&FP). 

The health promotion campaigns seek to increase healthy behaviors in children and spread awareness of the “5-2-1-0” message for daily behaviors:

-- 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables

-- 2 or fewer hours of screen time 

-- 1 hour or more of physical activity

-- 0 sweetened beverage consumption

The campaigns promote these messages by utilizing print, digital and multimedia materials that are tailored to meet the unique needs of both military and non-military communities. Materials have been developed for 15 settings within each community, including but not limited to child development centers, schools, grocery stores (commissaries on installations), fitness centers and health care providers. By distributing consistent health promotion messages widely throughout each community, the campaigns aim to increase the knowledge and daily practice of healthy behaviors by children.

“5210 is an easy mnemonic to remember,” said Daniel Perkins, director of the Clearinghouse and professor of family and youth resiliency and policy. “With so many health messages out in the public, parents are often confused about how best to promote a healthy family lifestyle. 5210 is a rubric that cuts to the chase by highlighting four daily behaviors that are known to promote healthy living.”

While the campaign seeks to improve child health behaviors, the target audiences for the 5210 messages are the adults who care for and influence these children. The messages promoted by the campaign are based on evidence-informed recommendations from groups including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. 

“Military and civilian families often face the same life challenges and raising healthy kids is one of them” said Eddy Mentzer, program manager for the DoD/USDA Partnership for Military Families. “In today’s culture, children and youth are increasingly sedentary and their dietary practices are less than ideal. High quality, science-based messaging, targeted to where families live, work, play and eat are a critical new part of our health promotion strategy.”

Two versions of the campaign have been developed: 5210 Healthy Military Children focuses on military communities, while 5210 Healthy Children was developed for use in non-military communities. The campaigns are currently being piloted at multiple military installations and non-military communities, and are set for full-scale roll-out during the fall.

All campaign materials are free to use and available for download on the campaign website. Also available on the website are training, tips, suggestions and live technical assistance for implementing the campaign in your local community. For more information visit: www.5210.healthymilitarychildren.psu.edu.

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(Media Contacts)

Last Updated June 02, 2015