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NLR Fit 2 LiveFirst Lady Michelle Obama Celebrates NLR’s Achievements

First Lady Michelle Obama Celebrates NLR’s Achievements

First Lady Michelle Obama hosted North Little Rock Alderman Beth White at a White House ceremony July 10, 2013, celebrating the outstanding efforts of North Little Rock and other communities to complete health and wellness goals over the past year for Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC).  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.

Since joining LMCTC, North Little Rock has improved access to healthy food and increased opportunities for physical activity through its Fit 2 Live initiative, which promotes healthy eating and active living throughout the city.  With the leadership and dedication of Alderman Beth White, the city has achieved Let’s Move! “medals” from the National League of Cities (NLC).

The NLC assists local elected officials who join LMCTC as they implement policy and environmental changes to prevent childhood obesity.  The NLC has awarded more than 1,000 bronze, silver and gold “medals” to recognize local elected officials who have made progress in achieving the five Let’s Move!initiative goals.

The City of North Little Rock is the recipient of the following medals:

Goal I: Start Early, Start Smart

Bronze medal for establishing an interagency collaboration on early care and education programs.  The city’s partnership with the North Little Rock School District birthed the formation of a School District Wellness Committee, which revised the NLRSD wellness policy.  The revised policy reinforces wellness practices such as family fitness nights, physical activity time, and food vending for students from Pre-K through high school.

Goal II: MyPlate, Your Place

MyPlate is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new food guide that identifies daily meal proportions for the fruit, vegetable, grains, and dairy food groups.  Although the city did not earn a medal, MyPlate promotional materials are displayed in all city venues where food is served.

Goal III: Smart Servings for Students

Bronze medal for having at least 60% of schools participating in the School Breakfast Program.  In North Little Rock, 100% of the schools participate in the Breakfast Program.

Goal IV: Model Food Service

Gold medal for implementing healthy and sustainable food service guidelines in municipal venues that serve food. In 2012, City Council passed the healthy food options guidelines.  The city also adopted the GO, SLOW, WHOA model for identifying the healthfulness of foods.  GO are anytime foods, SLOW are sometime foods and WHOA are once in a while foods.  The guidelines help ensure that 50% of vending machines and food catered by the City are “GO” or “SLOW” healthy options.

Goal V: Active Kids at Play

Gold medal for mapping and completing a needs assessment of playspaces, developing an action plan, and launching policies and programs to increase access to physical activity.  The city utilizes Joint Use Agreements (JUAs) to increase access to recreational facilities and improve infrastructure of neighborhood playspaces.  North Little Rock residents now have access to school playgrounds and recreational facilities after school hours.  In addition, the city completed refurbishing projects for playgrounds, elementary schools, community centers and Boys & Girls Clubs which included new playground equipment, basketball goals, soccer goals, bike racks and cardio equipment.

“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,” said National League of Cities’ Executive Director Clarence Anthony.

Posted on 07/10/2013