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Local Elected Officials Recognized for Efforts to Reduce Childhood Obesity and Their Role in Let's Move! Cities, Towns and Counties

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National League of Cities (NLC) awarded 541 medals to 118 communities across the country, in recognition of their outstanding efforts to complete health and wellness goals for Let's Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081022/NLCLOGO)

LMCTC calls upon local elected officials to adopt sustainable and holistic policies that improve communities' access to healthy affordable food and opportunities for physical activity.  LMCTC is a major component of First Lady Michelle Obama's comprehensive Let's Move! initiative, which is dedicated to solving the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation.

As part of today's announcement NLC President Ted Ellis, mayor of Bluffton, IN, recognized twelve communities for their highest overall achievements among LMCTC sites in the medal standings for the five goals.  Joining in the announcement were Dr. Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH, Assistant Secretary of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Joseph Curtatone, mayor of Somerville, MA; and Mike Kasperzak, mayor of Mountain View, CA, who spoke about the important role local elected officials play in the health of their communities.  The twelve communities receiving awards include:

  • Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA for sites with populations over 250,000 people
  • Norfolk, VA, Jackson, MS and St. Petersburg, FL for sites with populations between 100,000 and 249,999
  • Meriden, CT, Mountain View, CA and Somerville, MA for sites with populations between 50,000 and 99,999 people
  • Annapolis, MD and Casa Grande, AZ for sites with populations between 25,000 and 49,999 people
  • Columbia, PA and Farragut, TN for sites with populations less than 25,000 people

Information on the achievements made by communities participating in LMCTC can be found by visiting: www.healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org/see-progress/directory/.

"I am proud that NLC supports local elected officials in their work in creating healthier lifestyles. Mayors, city council members, county commissioners and other local officials around the country are to be commended for stepping up to the challenge of Let's Move! Cities, Towns and Counties and making measurable progress in their efforts to improve children's health," said NLC President Ted Ellis, Mayor of Bluffton, IN. 

LMCTC sites have the opportunity to earn up to five gold medals, one for each actionable goal to which they commit as part of the initiative. Today, medals were awarded to local elected officials based on achievements in each of the following five goal areas:

  • Goal 1: Start Early, Start Smart: Promoting best practices for nutrition, physical activity, and screen time in early care and education settings
  • Goal 2: My Plate, Your Place: Prominently displaying MyPlate in all municipal or county venues where food is served
  • Goal 3: Smart Servings for Students: Increasing participation in school breakfast and lunch programs
  • Goal 4: Model Food Service: Implementing healthy and sustainable food service guidelines that are aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  • Goal 5: Active Kids at Play: Increasing opportunities for physical activity

"Today, we celebrate communities across America that tackled childhood obesity with great commitment as part of Let's Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties," said Assistant Secretary Koh. "Healthier communities can improve quality of life for all."

Mayor Mike Kasperzak remarked, "Because of our participation in the HEAL Campaign and Let's Move! Cities, Towns and Counties, the City of Mountain View now actively promotes a community culture of health and wellness through programs, services and collaborations. I encourage local elected officials to work together to ensure a healthy future for our children."

The National League of Cities (NLC) is the lead collaborating partner on this initiative, working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Association of Counties, and other nonprofit organizations, in assisting local elected officials to implement policy and environmental changes to prevent childhood obesity.  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded NLC a grant to provide technical assistance to local elected officials working to create healthier communities and prevent childhood obesity, including sites participating in LMCTC.

For more information about the LMCTC initiative, its accomplishments, and how local elected officials can sign up, visit: www.healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org.

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities.  Working in partnership with the 49 state municipal leagues, NLC serves as a resource to and an advocate for the more than 19,000 cities, villages and towns it represents.

SOURCE National League of Cities

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