NLC commends First Lady’s childhood obesity plan
The Washington-based National League of Cities (NLC) says First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to combat childhood obesity shows an understanding that municipal leaders need to play an important role in promoting nutrition and fitness in communities. Meanwhile, NLC continues to operate programs aimed at promoting good health for children.
More than 12 million children and adolescents are considered obese and are, therefore, at higher risk of developing serious health problems later in life, a fact that may cost governments, businesses and families $117 billion per year in future health care costs, NLC says, citing data from the Princeton, N.J.-based Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The First Lady’s plan takes into account the need for a coordinated effort across agencies and across governments to significantly reduce childhood obesity rates. “The obesity epidemic is killing our children,” said Hernando, Miss., Mayor Chip Johnson at the announcement of Obama’s plan. “We are very happy that the First Lady understands the role of municipal government in combating childhood obesity.”
Somerville, Mass., Mayor Joseph Curtatone, who also attended the program’s announcement, said he is “proud that local initiatives will serve as models of best practices for communities across the country.” Through its Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, NLC works to raise awareness among municipal leaders about actions they can take to reverse the obesity epidemic. With support from RWJF’s Leadership for Healthy Communities, NLC has created a network of municipal officials committed to reducing childhood obesity.
NLC also has worked with the Arlington, Va.-based American Association of School Administrators to provide technical assistance to municipal and school district officials in six cities to develop comprehensive community wellness strategies and policies. The Institute’s action kit for municipal leaders on Combating Childhood Obesity outlines a broad range of steps city leaders can take to promote healthy eating, access to healthy food and active living.
Read more information on NLC’s work on childhood obesity.