Charlottesville Honored for Health and Wellness Efforts - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Charlottesville Honored for Health and Wellness Efforts

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City of Charlottesville
Press Release

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA -   On Wednesday, First Lady Michelle Obama hosted Charlottesville Vice-Mayor Kristin Szakos and 39 other elected leaders from around the country at the White House, celebrating their outstanding efforts to complete health and wellness goals over 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 - especially for children.

Since joining LMCTC in May, Charlottesville has already been awarded two bronze medals by the initiative for early childhood coordination and for the number of children participating in the school breakfast program.

"Let's Move! is one of the many ways we're working to fulfill our commitment to making Charlottesville America's Healthiest City," Szakos said. "National studies show that unless we do something different than we have been, this generation of children will be the first to be less healthy than their parents, and have lower life expectancy. Access to nutritious food, opportunities to exercise, and community support is what it takes to turn that trend around. Let's Move! is a key to making that happen." 

"We are honored by the recognition and look forward to continuing our efforts to promote physical activity and healthy eating and reducing childhood obesity in the City of Charlottesville," said Charlottesville Director of Parks and Recreation Brian Daly.

The First Lady thanked the gathered officials and urged them to "double down" on efforts to help the nation's children. "The most important part of our lives in this society is our children, and you all have demonstrated that by putting them top on your list," she said. "You all are pulled in so many directions.  You're dealing with tighter and tighter budgets.  You're working to keep your local economies humming and your neighborhoods thriving.  And of course, you're trying to keep everyone safe.  Yet even with all of that on your plate, you all have still made the health of our young people a priority.  And you're doing it in new and innovative ways that touch so many parts of your communities." 

The White House has partnered with the National League of Cities to provide technical support to the cities and towns in the initiative. "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 at the White House event. "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 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, 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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