Henry Ford LiveWell and Pediatrics Departments Advance in National Challenge to Fight Childhood Obesity

January 28, 2019
DETROIT – Henry Ford Health System, in collaboration with the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute and Michigan’s Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, has been selected by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) as one of 10 winners across the country for Phase 1 of the Using Technology to Prevent Childhood Obesity in Low-Income Families and Communities Challenge. This recognition is for the 5-2-1-0 Go! smartphone app concept, which aims to engage, educate, and facilitate healthy lifestyle behaviors among children ages 9-13 years old. 

The 5-2-1-0 Go! app will expand upon an earlier app called 5-2-1-0 Kids!, which is geared towards children ages 4-8 years old. The numbers “5-2-1-0” are a reminder for families to promote healthy habits, including eating five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, aiming for two hours or less of recreational screen time each day, getting 20 minutes of vigorous activity at least three times per week, and drinking zero sugar-added beverages, such as pop, sports drinks and fruit drinks.

As a Phase 1 winner, Henry Ford will receive a $10,000 cash prize and continue to Phase 2, in which they will develop their prototype and conduct small-scale testing through July 2019. At the conclusion of Phase 2, up to five teams will be selected to receive a cash prize of $25,000 and advance to Phase 3, which is the final phase of the Challenge. During Phase 3, teams will test their interventions on a larger scale and MCHB will select one winner to receive a grand prize of $150,000.

Using different approaches and technology platforms, winning designs aim to empower low-income families to achieve healthy lifestyles and improve the health of communities across the U.S. The obesity epidemic disproportionately affects children who come from a historically-underserved background, either due to differences in race/ethnicity, household income, or ability. 

“Over the past decade, pediatric obesity rates have increased significantly, and that is especially true for children from low-income families,” said Kimberlydawn Wisdom, M.D., Senior Vice President of Community Health & Equity and Chief Wellness and Diversity Officer at Henry Ford Health System. “5-2-1-0 Go! will take a multi-faceted approach to addressing childhood obesity, including promoting access to healthy and affordable food options for low-income families, and fun ways to promote physical activity.”

Phase 1 winners will collaborate with different populations, including breastfeeding mothers, children ages birth to 19, Latino, American Indian and Alaskan Native families, and families with children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In Phase 2, a diverse panel of Expert Advisors, who provide guidance for all aspects of the Challenge, will serve as mentors to the winning teams. 

This challenge is one of four Grand Challenges launched by this MCHB, which address critical maternal and child health issues. To learn more about promoting healthy habits for your child, or to request an appointment with a pediatrician, visit henryford.com/pediatrics.  

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MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Adkins / 586-307-2027 / jadkins6@hfhs.org