Carolinas HealthCare System
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Carolinas HealthCare System Teams with Cam Newton and Community Partners to Fight Childhood Obesity

Campaign urges 10,000 families to take healthy living pledge

CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 23, 2015 – Carolinas HealthCare System through its Levine Children’s Hospital is leading community partners and engaging star quarterback Cam Newton in a new public awareness campaign aimed at fighting childhood obesity. The superhero-themed campaign encourages healthy habits for the whole family, and Carolinas HealthCare System wants 10,000 local families to take part by pledging to be healthy together this year.

“Carolinas HealthCare System is dedicated to fighting childhood obesity, and we know it takes a lot of work and community collaboration to make it happen,” said Roger Ray, MD, executive vice president and chief physician executive at Carolinas HealthCare System. “By empowering our community’s families to lead healthy lifestyles, we can help reverse the trend, prevent disease and improve the health of our children for years to come.”

The campaign urges families to join the ‘5-2-1-0 League’ and pledge to follow healthy habits every day, aiming for 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 hours or less of recreational screen time, 1 hour or more of physical activity, and 0 sugary beverages. Families can visit to learn more about 5-2-1-0, access helpful health tips and resources, and pledge to follow the program.

The campaign is one of the many efforts of Healthy Weight Healthy Child, a community-backed coalition formed in 2010 through the partnership of Carolinas HealthCare System, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the Mecklenburg County Health Department to combat childhood obesity in Mecklenburg County. Carolinas HealthCare System is currently leading the efforts of the coalition, which is carrying out interventions across school, childcare, clinical and community settings.

“We’re working to tackle childhood obesity in our community from many angles, and a critical element of this work is sharing a consistent health message across our community,” said Marcus Plescia, MD, MPH, health director of the Mecklenburg County Health Department. “It’s momentous and incredibly exciting to see our partners unite around a common message, all in an effort to make the broadest possible community impact.”

North Carolina’s childhood obesity rates are among the worst in the country. Children who are overweight or obese are at greater risk for a number of health conditions including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain types of cancer.

“I am a proud member of the Charlotte community and support the challenge to have 10,000 families in our community to take the pledge to be healthy together,” Newton said. “Helping kids develop strong habits at a young age is extremely important for long-term health. I am really excited to support the youth in our community at this important phase of their lives.”