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City of Somerville Awarded Five Medals Recognizing Achievements in Addressing Childhood Obesity through Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties

- The National League of Cities (NLC) has recognized
Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and the City's Shape Up Somerville
initiative for recent completion of key health and wellness goals 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

"We applaud local elected
officials in Somerville for stepping up to the challenge of
Let's Move! Cities, Towns and
Counties and making measurable progress in their efforts to improve children's
health," said NLC President Ted Ellis, mayor of Bluffton, IN. 

Five medals - two gold, one silver,
and two bronze - were awarded to Shape Up Somerville for action taken to improve access to healthy affordable food and
increase opportunities for physical activity. 
Medals were awarded for Shape Up Somerville's achievements in the areas
of early childhood nutrition programs; healthy dining, vending, and farmer
market programs; universal free breakfast and free/reduced lunch programs in
all public schools; a model food and nutrition service program; and increasing opportunities
for physical activity.

In the ten years since its
inception, Shape Up Somerville has been successfully integrated into every
aspect of municipal policy-making, from recreation programming and parks
expansion to school food services, and from urban agriculture and farmers
markets programs to transit-, pedestrian-, and bike-friendly development
strategies.  Through the partnership with
LMCTC and the support of the National League of Cities and First Lady Michelle
Obama, recent accomplishments have included securing interagency collaboration,
through Head Start, to build a Family Learning Collaborative and health food
program for preschool students; offering universal free breakfast to students
in grades K-8, with the addition of fresh salad bars and health vending options
in all schools by the end of the 2013-14 school year; and the creation of
policies and ordinances around school recess, urban agriculture and zoning,
multimodal transit options (including painting more than 25 miles of bike lanes
in the last three years and a regional bike share program), and increasing
numbers of play spaces for resident of all ages.

"Every policy decision we
make is guided by one orienting value: 
making Somerville a great place to live, work, play and raise a
family.  Our work on core issues such as
increasing access to fresh, wholesome foods and opportunities for physical
activity has helped us to cultivate a healthier, happier, and more productive
community," said Mayor Curtatone.  "As
the most densely populated, and one of the most diverse communities in New
England, the challenge of nurturing healthy eating and lifestyles is greatly
increased by cultural and economic diversity as well as a lack of open space
for outdoor recreation.  With the support
of First Lady Obama and LMCTC, we have made great strides in these areas, and we
are honored to be considered among some of the nation's most successful communities
on this issue."

All LMCTC sites have the
opportunity to earn up to five gold medals, one for each actionable goal they
commit to as part of the initiative. The five goal areas are:

  • Goal 1: Start Early, Start Smart: Promoting best practices for nutrition, physical
    activity, and screen time in early care and education settings

  • Goal 2: My Plate, Your Place: Prominently displaying MyPlate in all municipal or
    county venues where food is served

  • Goal 3: Smart Servings for Students: Increasing participation in school breakfast and
    lunch programs

  • Goal 4: Model Food Service: Implementing healthy
    and sustainable food service guidelines that are aligned with the Dietary
    Guidelines for Americans

  • Goal 5: Active Kids at Play: Increasing opportunities for physical activity

The National League of Cities (NLC) is
the lead collaborating partner on this initiative, working with the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National
Association of Counties, and other nonprofit organizations, in assisting local
elected officials to 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.

More than 160 cities, towns
and counties are participating in LMCTC. NLC awarded 541 medals to local
elected officials across the country, recognizing these leaders for their progress
in adopting long-term, sustainable, and holistic policies that improve communities'
access to healthy affordable food and opportunities for physical activity.

For more information about LMCTC and Shape Up Somerville's accomplishments, visit

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities.  Working in partnership with the 49 state municipal leagues, NLC serves as a resource to
and an advocate for the more than 19,000 cities, villages and towns it represents.




Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone accepts an award from the National League of Cities and Let's Move! Cities, Towns & Counties from Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Howard Koh, and NLC President, Mayor Ted Ellis of Bluffton, Indiana during the NLC Conference in Boston on Thursday, November 29th.



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