AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the National League of Cities (NLC) recognized the efforts of nearly 460 mayors, city council members, county commissioners and other local elected officials nationwide for their commitment to achieving health and wellness goals for Let's Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC). More than 60 million Americans are now living in LMCTC communities that are dedicated to helping young people eat healthy foods and be physically active.
"We applaud mayors, city and county councilmembers, county supervisors and staff for being at the forefront of a growing national movement to improve the health of children and families," said NLC President Chris Coleman, Mayor of Saint Paul, Minn. "States and cities across the country have recently reported declines in childhood obesity rates. We are hopeful that these types of dedicated efforts will spread and allow us to make continued progress in reversing America's epidemic of childhood obesity."
LMCTC is a major component of First Lady Michelle Obama's comprehensive Let's Move! initiative to ensure that kids can grow up healthy. LMCTC works closely with local elected officials nationwide to adopt policies that improve access to healthy affordable food and opportunities for physical activity for their constituents across five goal areas.
"We're beginning to turn the tide on childhood obesity in America's communities, and we can't stop now, especially when it comes to our work at the local level," First Lady Michelle Obama said. "City and county officials have provided essential leadership for these efforts, and their innovative approaches and effective solutions can help ensure that all our children have a healthy start in life."
All 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. Medals are awarded to local elected officials based on their achievements in areas such as promoting healthy habits in early child care settings; increasing participation in meal programs before, during and after the school day and/or over the summer months; and increasing opportunities for physical activity. Since July 2012, NLC has awarded 2,056 bronze, silver, and gold medals to local elected officials across the country to recognize their LMCTC progress.
As part of today's announcement, NLC President Coleman recognized twenty-three cities and counties for earning gold medals in all five LMCTC goal areas. In addition, six city leaders and two cities were honored for their overall efforts to prevent childhood obesity and improve the health of their residents. They include:
- David Baker, mayor, Kenmore, Wash., and Alan Coleman, councilmember, Beaumont, Texas received the Legacy Award.
- The City of Pryor Creek, Okla., and the City of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. received the Most Innovative City Award.
- Annise Parker, mayor, Houston, Texas and T.J. Thompson, councilmember, Boise, Idaho, received the Most Dedicated Official Award.
- Rosetta Carter, director of community health education, Chester, Pa., and Diane Mortensen, recreation superintendent, Mercer Island, Wash. received the Most Dedicated Staff Award.
For more information about the cities, counties and individuals recognized, visit NLC's blog.
NLC is working in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and with the support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Association of Counties and other nonprofit organizations to assist local elected officials who join LMCTC in implementing 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 those participating in LMCTC.
For more information about LMCTC, visit www.HealthyCommunitiesHealthyFuture.org.
The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.
SOURCE National League of Cities