Thirty nine percent of children ages 2 to 19 are either overweight or obese and more than one-in-ten children becomes obese as early as ages 2 to 5. These health conditions not only impact a child’s growth, development, and self-esteem, but often being overweight or obese at a young age places adults at a greater risk for developing serious chronic diseases that impact them over the course of a lifetime.
The poor health of children and adults across the country has significant implications beyond an individual’s immediate family, affecting the vitality of entire communities, their local economies, and overall quality of life.
Local elected officials increasingly recognize that there’s too much at stake to stay on the sidelines while the poor health of their residents continues to impact their communities.
Through engagement of a range of city agencies, partners and constituents, Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC) has been critical in catalyzing this local leadership, working with cities and counties across the country to promote sustainable strategies that will improve the health of their constituents. As part of the comprehensive Let’s Move! initiative, LMCTC provides a framework for local elected officials, such as mayors, county commissioners, and city councilmembers to take action to prevent childhood obesity, unifying the efforts of cities, towns and counties across the country in creating healthier places to live.
With the City of Barre, Vermont joining, more than 450 cities, towns and counties are now participating in the initiative, including all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
This map provides a visual representation of Let's Move! Cities,Towns and Counties sites across the nation.
Local government leaders are uniquely positioned to promote environments that support healthy eating and physical activity, which can lower these risks. In collaboration with health and human services agencies, parks and recreation departments, community- and faith-based organizations, and parents and educational providers, local elected officials can take a lead role in fostering a healthy start for children; improving access to healthy foods; and increasing physical activity.
Local elected officials across the country have implemented over 2,000 promising practices that include supporting the development of healthy behaviors among young children through early education and care programs, providing access to healthy food and beverages using local government purchasing policies and practices, offering nutritional foods to students through participation in school and summer meal programs, and enhancing opportunities for increasing physical activity.
Almost 70 million Americans currently live in a Let’s Move! City, Town or County. With national participation in LMCTC, sustainable strategies are being implemented in every state, and as Let’s Move! expands to more cities, towns, and counties across the country, we ensure healthy communities and healthy futures for all of America. To learn more about LMCTC, please visit: http://www.healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org/.