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(Photo Courtesy of the City of Gary)
Today, First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a special event at the White House for local elected officials and representatives whose cities and towns are participating in the Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC) Initiative. The City of Gary was among the cities represented. Gary Housing Authority Interim Director Mary Cossey, who coordinated the Let’s Move effort in Gary, attended the ceremony at the White House.
“This has been a great day and such a humbling experience,” said Cossey. “We worked very hard on our Let’s Move events and look forward to implementing even more programs to help tackle childhood obesity.”
During the program, the First Lady, Let’s Move! Executive Director Sam Kass, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Howard K. Koh, National League of Cities Executive Director Clarence Anthony and local elected officials talked about the success in communities across the country to address childhood obesity.
“The League of Cities appreciates the support and energy of the First Lady for her tireless efforts to reduce the obesity epidemic facing our communities,” said National League of Cities’ Executive Director, Clarence Anthony. He continued, “We congratulate all the local elected officials who participated in the event and are playing an instrumental role in providing our nation’s children with a healthier future. When children grow up in cities, towns and counties that promote healthy development, they become productive and healthy adults, contributing to the prosperity of our communities.”
The City of Gary hosted a Let’s Move event at Marquette beach last summer and also hosted exercise classes for youth at the YWCA among other events.
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. A total of 330 cities, towns and counties from 46 states and the District of Columbia, which collectively represent more than 56 million Americans, have committed to the initiative’s five goals. NLC has awarded more than 1,000 bronze, silver and gold “medals” to recognize local elected officials who have made progress in achieving these goals.
As part of LMCTC, local elected officials are working towards the following goals:
· Goal I: Start Early, Start Smart: Promoting best practices for nutrition, physical activity, and screen time in early care and education settings
· Goal II: My Plate, Your Place: Prominently displaying MyPlate in all municipal or county venues where food is served
· Goal III: Smart Servings for Students: Increasing participation in school breakfast and lunch programs
· Goal IV: Model Food Service: Implementing healthy and sustainable food service guidelines that are aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
· Goal V: Active Kids at Play:Increasing opportunities for physical activity
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 as they 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 LMCTC and Gary’s accomplishments, 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.
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