Let’s Go! uses evidence-based strategies to promote policies and environmental changes that make it easier for people to live healthy, active lives. We track strategy implementation through annual surveys with our enrolled sites, and monitor obesity rates and behavior data through the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey, a state survey given to school children every other year. In addition, we monitor awareness and knowledge of the program through an annual family member survey.
The Let’s Go! initiative engages schools, out-of-school programs, early care and education programs, and healthcare practices to reach families where they live, learn, work, and play to reinforce the importance of healthy living. Let’s Go! is based on the premise that if children and families are exposed to the same health message in multiple places across their community, and if those places have policies and environments that support healthy choices, children and families will be more likely to adopt or maintain the behaviors in their daily lives.
Thanks to a strong partnership with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more communities are partnering with Let’s Go!, environments are changing, and Let’s Go!’s healthy eating and active living strategies are being adopted in more places. In 2020, Let’s Go! programs reached more than 240,000 children and youth and nearly 190,000 adults. More than 24,000 staff helped implement Let’s Go! strategies at more than 1,600 sites. Let’s Go! has demonstrated that policy and environmental change can occur across multiple settings, reaching large numbers of individuals. Instrumental to this success is the active engagement and support of a network of community and state partners.
In Let’s Go! community settings, 93% of 745 enrolled sites reporting agree that partnering with Let's Go! adds value to their school or program. Our 2020 annual survey showed that 713 Let’s Go! enrolled schools, early care and education programs, and out-of-school programs limited sugary drinks and 704 provided opportunities for physical activity daily; 613 sites limited unhealthy choices for snacks and celebrations; 611 limited recreational screen time; and 655 prohibited using food as a reward. In the healthcare setting, 699 clinicians used Let’s Go!’s Healthy Habits Questionnaire with pediatric and adult patients to initiate conversations around healthy eating and active living.
In addition, findings from a research study using Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey data from 2009-2019 indicate that students in Let’s Go! enrolled schools are more likely to adhere to 5-2-1-0 recommendations for healthy eating and active living than students in schools not enrolled. The simple predictor of Let’s Go! participation was consistently associated with better outcomes.