Tara Fedosoff, City of Nanaimo recreation coordinator, and Jennifer Coburn, Live 5-2-1-0 coordinator, hope people can eat at least five vegetables and fruits, look at screens for no more than two hours, be active for at least one hour and drink zero sugary drinks a day. (KARL YU/The News Bulletin)

Health and wellness counts to 5-2-1-0 in Nanaimo

More fruits and vegetables and less screen time among ideals of healthy living program

Individually, 0, 1, 2 and 5 may not mean anything to people, but City of Nanaimo Parks and Recreation hopes it becomes common knowledge with the Live 5-2-1-0 message.

The B.C. Children’s Hospital healthy living initiative recommends children and families eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits, limit screen time to no more than two hours, be active for at least one hour and consume zero sugary drinks each day, according to Tara Fedosoff, city rec coordinator, and Jennifer Coburn, Live 5-2-1-0 coordinator.

The active component can be anything that gets the blood flowing, said Fedosoff.

“Somehow, from being a child to where we are now, we think we have to be in organized activity all the time,” Fedosoff said. “Make it your movements, walking to school, walking the dog, just get out and be active right? It doesn’t have to be costly … it doesn’t have to be in a group. It’s just ‘get moving.’”

While Live 5-2-1-0 advocates for limited screen time, it may be impractical given people may use computers at work. Coburn said it only applies after work.

“This is recreational screen time, it’s unrealistic to say no more than two hours of screen time if you’re working at a desk for eight hours, so it’s going home and maybe not watching the five hours of Netflix or sitting on Facebook, those types of things,” said Coburn.

Throughout May and June, Coburn and program ambassadors went around Nanaimo promoting the message. Fedosoff said in addition to delivering the message, lesson plans were created.

“Let’s document this. Let’s create … this has legs to go in the fall and all someone has to do is take this and go, because we need this to be a sustainable practice for all of us, but there has to be a lot of education leading to that and then that would be the target,” said Fedosoff.

She hopes Live 5-2-1-0 becomes something people think about when they wake up every day.

“At the end of the day, what we’re saying, [these are] four simple steps for you to take charge and control what you are putting into your body … so you can control your own health and we all know our health-care system down the road is challenged,” said Fedosoff. “If we don’t start owning our own personal health, don’t think the public health system is going to do that for you.”

Hidden sugars impact health

Coburn said some parents think giving their children juice is fine as long as it has natural sugar, but it is still sugar and it might be better to eat an apple.

There are 56 different names for sugar, Coburn said, and parents should be mindful of this when shopping.

“That can be really confusing when you’re reading the labels. If you don’t see sugar or cane sugar, [you might be] like, ‘Oh, it’s sugar free,’ but they’re in there,” said Coburn.

The default drink choice should be water and people can infuse fruits and vegetables into their water for flavour, said Fedosoff.


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