On Wednesday, July 10, First Lady Michelle Obama will host Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence at the White House to celebrate the outstanding efforts of the city of Southfield and other communities in completing health and wellness goals over the past year for Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC) program.
LMCTC calls upon local elected officials to adopt sustainable and holistic strategies that improve access to healthy, affordable food and opportunities for physical activity.
“Too many young people today do not eat balanced, healthy meals or get enough exercise,” Lawrence said. “It is vitally important to teach our youth healthy eating and exercise habits that will carry over into adulthood. I envisioned this program to be one that is both fun and educational – inspiring and challenging young people to get off the couch and become more physically fit and active – and I’m happy to report that it was successful in achieving that goal.”
Southfield’s Let’s Move! efforts included the Let’s Move Summer Fitness Camp that featured a different sports-related theme and fun fitness activities for participants each week of the program.
The camp also included an overview of proper stretching and warm-up techniques, yoga and healthy eating habits. In addition, participants received healthy snacks as well as fresh fruits and vegetables from local vendors.
The camp was open to all Southfield students or children of parents who work or worship in the city and was sponsored locally by Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Health Alliance Plan, St. John Providence Hospital, and Michigan First Credit Union.
LMCTC is a major component of the First Lady’s comprehensive Let’s Move! initiative, which is dedicated to solving the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation.
The initiative’s five goals are:
Start Early, Start Smart: Promoting best practices for nutrition, physical activity, and screen time in early care and education settings.
My Plate, Your Place: Prominently displaying MyPlate in all municipal or county venues where food is served.
Smart Servings for Students: Increasing participation in school breakfast and lunch programs.
Model Food Service: Implementing healthy and sustainable food service guidelines that are aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Active Kids at Play: Increasing opportunities for physical activity.
More than 56 million Americans in 330 cities, towns and counties from 46 states and the District of Columbia have committed to the above 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.
“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’ (NLC) 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.”
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 the city of Southfield’s accomplishments, visit http://www.HealthyCommunitiesHealthyFuture.org or http://www.cityofsouthfield.com.