WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National League of Cities (NLC) joined First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House today to announce that 500 cities, towns and counties have committed to the five goals in the Let's Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC) initiative since July 2012. This historic milestone was announced at a celebratory event honoring the achievements made by local elected officials participating in the initiative. LMCTC is a key part of the Let's Move! initiative and helps local elected officials, their staff and communities ensure all children grow up healthy and have the ability to reach their full potential.
"Together, over the past five years, we have built what we call a movement on behalf of our kids' health. We have truly changed the culture around how we live and eat in this country," said First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House event. "Child nutrition is not about politics. This is about giving our children a fair shot in life, and ensuring that they have everything they need to fill their boundless potential."
The 500 cities, towns and counties honored at today's event come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. To date, approximately 80 million Americans live in a city, town or county participating in LMCTC.
Elected officials and representatives from 63 cities and counties across the country were honored at the event, many of whom have achieved gold medals in each of the five goal areas. Officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) joined the First Lady in commending these communities for their dedication and hard work to reduce childhood obesity rates and help kids and families lead healthier lives.
At today's event, the First Lady also recognized the 52 communities that have achieved gold medals in each of the five goal areas, which include providing healthy school meals, opportunities for physical activity during and outside of school, and healthier earlier care and education programs. This number is expected to grow as more local leaders take advantage of their unique position to ensure the health and well-being of young people today and that of future generations is a priority.
"This groundbreaking milestone of reaching 500 communities brings us closer to the goal of providing every American with the opportunity to live in a community that prioritizes the health and well-being of their residents," said National League of Cities President Ralph Becker, mayor, Salt Lake City, Utah. "These local policymakers, representing small and large communities from across the country, are transforming their communities into healthier places."
Cities, towns and counties participating in LMCTC are part of a growing national movement to build healthy communities and benefit from peer-networking opportunities and access to technical assistance and support from NLC, HHS and its partners.
NLC works in partnership with Let's Move! and HHS, with support from USDA, the National Association of Counties and other nonprofit organizations, to provide assistance to local elected officials as they implement policy and program changes to improve access to healthy, affordable food and provide opportunities for physical activity for all children. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides generous support to NLC to provide technical assistance to local elected officials working to create healthier communities and prevent childhood obesity, including those participating in LMCTC.
The National League of Cities (NLC) 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.