|Mayor Joins First Lady Michelle Obama to Celebrate Knoxville's Achievements in Let's Move! Cities, Towns and Countries
July 10, 2013 -
First Lady Michelle Obama hosted Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and other elected officials today at the White House, celebrating the outstanding efforts of communities that have completed health and wellness goals during the past year for Let's Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC).
LMCTC calls upon local elected officials to adopt sustainable and holistic strategies that improve access to healthy, affordable food and opportunities for physical activity.
Mayor Rogero was one of four elected officials chosen to participate in a panel at the White House event to share lessons learned and how to sustain the work of local Let's Move! programs.
"We are all responsible for creating healthier options for our children," Mayor Rogero said. "The opportunity to meet and talk about Let's Move! with First Lady Michelle Obama and local elected leaders has certainly inspired me to continue promoting healthy lifestyles for our youth so that they can reach their full potential."
In her remarks, Mrs. Obama said: "We're proud to announce that in just the past year, more than 330 elected officials have committed to making their city or town a Let's Move! community and fulfilling the five (LMCTC) community-wide goals. That means that more than 56 million Americans are now living in a community dedicated to improving nutrition and physical activity for our young people. And that's a good thing."
Since joining LMCTC, Knoxville/Knox County's Let's Move! efforts have included:
Obtaining a state Project Diabetes grant to incorporate healthy foods into concession stands in cooperation with the Knoxville-Knox County Food Policy Council.
Conserving a 1,000-acre Urban Wilderness corridor less than two miles from downtown, which provides hiking and biking trails.
Earning a Ronald McDonald grant to purchase bicycles for a "Kids Can Bike" program.
Participating in the Chefs Move to School program through Knox County Schools
Knox County Schools achieving the prestigious Healthier U.S. Schools Challenge Award for offering healthier school environments for students
Knoxville and Knox County ranking #1 in the nation among LMCTC goals
Safe Routes to Schools Committee forming a "Walking School Bus"
Sarah Moore Greene Elementary students being selected for the seed planting and the Summer Harvest event at the White House garden with First Lady Michelle Obama.
There have been many stakeholders that have had a role in the progress of Knoxville/Knox County's Let's Move! programs. Some of the core partners include: Knox County Schools; Knox County Health Department; The University of Tennessee's Department of Nutrition and Extension; and the Knox Area Coalition on 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. "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."
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 toward 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 Knoxville/Knox County'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. To learn more, visit www.nlc.org or twitter.com/leagueofcities.
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