Page 72 - South Mississippi Living - December, 2023
P. 72

story by Lynn Lofton
photos courtesy of Let’s Go! Gulf Coast
If the obesity epidemic is not reversed, today’s children may be the first in American history to live sicker and die younger than their parents’ generation, according to the Trust for American Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Let’s Go! Gulf Coast is working to change that statistic.
“We envision a Mississippi Gulf Coast where youth and their families achieve optimal health,” says Kelsey Keel, the program’s director. “Let’s Go! Gulf Coast is a childhood obesity prevention program that utilizes evidence-based strategies to promote policy and environmental changes that facilitate healthy eating and active living while providing education, programming ideas, support, and so much more.”
Keel explains that the core of their programs all center on the use of the common 5-2-1-0 message encouraging 5 or
more servings of fruit and vegetables daily; 2 hours or less of recreational screen time; 1 hour or more of physical activity; and 0 sugary drinks. “These behaviors are supported by science and endorsed as recommendations by medical professionals as a way to maintain or start building a healthy lifestyle” she said.
The local team partners with early childcare settings, schools, after-school programs, local workplaces, healthcare facilities, and community organizations in the three coastal counties.
Be on the lookout for the launch of their new app in January, Let’s Go Explore!
Let’s Go! Gulf Coast
 72 | December 2023 | SOUTH MISSISSIPPI Living

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