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Build a Healthy Community through Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties

August 7, 2013  |  Elena Hoffnagle, National League of Cities
In cities across America, municipal leaders are taking action to reduce childhood obesity, one of our nation’s most pressing public health challenges. By promoting physical activity and improved nutrition, city officials can make their communities healthier, save countless lives and ease the tremendous financial strain on our families, local governments and health care system caused by obesity-related illnesses. If we do not reverse the obesity epidemic, our children are in danger of becoming the first generation of Americans living sicker and dying younger than their parent’s generation.

One of the most valuable opportunities for municipal leadership to address this challenge is through Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties. LMCTC is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s comprehensive Let’s Move! initiative, which is dedicated to reversing the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation. With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National League of Cities (NLC) is providing technical assistance and tools to local elected officials who are participating in LMCTC and striving to build healthy communities.

More than 300 cities, towns and counties throughout the U.S. have joined LMCTC, and these communities are making tangible progress in their efforts to improve children’s health.

How Does it Work?

LMCTC provides a framework for local elected officials to develop long-term, sustainable, and holistic strategies that promote improved nutrition and increase physical activity in their communities.

With input from local officials, LMCTC unifies the efforts of cities, towns and counties across the country in pursuing five measurable and achievable goals:
  1. Start Early, Start Smart: Provide children in early care and education settings with a healthy start.
  2. MyPlate, Your Place: Display MyPlate in city- and county-owned venues that serve food.
  3. Smart Servings for Students: Increase participation in school breakfast and school lunch programs.
  4. Model Food Service: Adopt healthy food service guidelines at city- and county-owned venues that serve food.
  5. Active Kids at Play: Take steps to promote physical activity.
Cities participating in LCMTC benefit by:
  • Receiving national recognition when they achieve LMCTC goals, including opportunities to be recognized by the First Lady;
  • Gaining access to technical assistance from experts across the federal government and nonprofit sector;
  • Having a variety of opportunities to learn what works at the local level;
  • Sharing success stories and discussing challenges with peers in other communities; and
  • Participating in a national movement to build healthy communities for a healthy future.
Participating communities are awarded bronze, silver and gold medals for achieving specific benchmarks pertaining to each of the five LMCTC goals

City leaders can sign up or learn more about the initiative by visiting the initiative’s website. In addition, this website outlines steps for achieving each goal, recognizes successful communities and highlights promising local efforts.

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.

For more information, contact NLC at lmctc@nlc.org or call Elena Hoffnagle at 202-262-3012 or Tracy Wiedt at 202-626-3002.
The Let's Move Cities in Georgia are Albany, Decatur, College Park, Kennesaw, Lovejoy, Savannah and Union City.