Michelle Obama in Philly announces new effort to combat obesity

Posted: July 19, 2012

How to break the obesity epidemic?

One city at a time.

Appearing with nine mayors in a North Philadelphia gymnasium, First Lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday discussed the latest iteration of her two-year-old Let's Move! campaign to treat the nation's obesity epidemic.

She announced a $1 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to create a web site - healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org - where city officials can sign up and get tips on how to raise money for the anti-obesity effort or improve programs they have in place.

"There's no one-sized-fits-all solution to the problem," she said in the gym of the Lenfest Police Athletic Club at 3890 N. 10th Street. Mayors "see people's struggles up close."

She cited the example of Mason Carter Harvey, 12, of Oklahoma City, who lost 85 pounds by cutting down on junk food and doing more exercise. Now through his web site - http://www.strivefor85.com/ - he helps other kids conquer obesity.

Among those who spoke was Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett who has already mounted a city-wide effort. Five years ago, "the city was in denial," Cornett said. "I put the entire city on a diet, resulting in 47,000 residents losing a million pounds."

The grant will help cities reach young residents, promote healthier food in schools and stores and increase kids' physical activity.

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