Department of Defense Efforts to Combat Childhood Obesity

A group of kids running in a gym

Eradicating childhood obesity must be a community effort. That's why the Department of Defense is asking military leaders and service providers to make healthier choices for children while teaching them to make healthier choices for themselves.

Join the campaign to prevent and treat childhood obesity within the military community. The following resources will help you spread the message and make a difference.

5210 Healthy Military Children

The 5210 strategy is a community-wide plan to improve children’s health by promoting these daily goals:

  • Five or more servings of fruits and vegetables
  • Two years and older, closely monitor and limit screen time
  • More than one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity
  • Zero sugar-sweetened drinks each day

Civilian communities nationwide that put the 5210 strategy into practice report that children have adopted healthier lifestyle habits.

5210 Healthy Military Children tip sheets


and use the 5210 Tip Sheets to encourage healthy habits in children.

These tip sheets, developed in collaboration with the Pennsylvania State University, provide concrete suggestions on how to embed healthy habits into kids' lives. The information is grounded in work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Office of Family Readiness Policy, Children and Youth.

Use these tip sheets, targeted to the following audiences, to help spread the message in places where military families work, live and play:

  • Families
  • Child development centers and family child care
  • Elementary schools
  • Middle and high schools
  • Youth centers
  • After-school programs
  • Military dining facilities
  • On-installation eateries
  • Commissaries
  • Fitness centers
  • Community centers
  • The workplace
  • Health care professionals
  • Leaders

Resource Center for the Prevention of Military Child Obesity


military families to visit Military OneSource for ideas on encouraging healthy habits in their children, or to speak with a health and wellness coach.

This interactive, searchable web-based platform is part of a strategic plan to support the Department of Defense's commitment to addressing the obesity epidemic in America. You'll find it within the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness, which was developed by the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy in collaboration with the Pennsylvania State University. The Resource Center for the Prevention of Military Child Obesity offers the following:

  • A virtual community for professionals, military and community leaders
  • Obesity prevention resources
  • Information on evidence-based programs that focus on obesity
  • Clearinghouse staff as a resource for those working to prevent and treat childhood obesity in military families

Other initiatives and services


a community of professionals committed to reversing the childhood obesity epidemic at the Resource Center for Obesity Prevention, an interactive, web-based platform.

  • Nutrition and fitness standards — These are woven into Department of Defense child development program curriculum.
  • Military OneSource health and wellness coaching — Coaching is available to service members, who may then teach healthier habits to their children.
  • The Let's Move! campaign — This White House initiative encourages parents, schools, community leaders and others to set good examples and create healthier environments for children.

Raising healthy and fit children to become healthy and fit adults is essential to building a strong nation and a strong military. The best gift we can give children is the gift of healthy habits.


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