Cambridge Recognized for Reducing Childhood Obesity

It won a gold medal from the Let's Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties initiative.

Aly Raisman isn’t Massachusetts’ only gold medalist. Cambridge just brought home the gold for its commitment to reducing childhood obesity.

Cambridge won a gold medal from the Let’s Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties (LMCTC) initiative, recognizing its success in five critical areas related to improving kids’ access to healthy food and physical activity. Seventy-four communities nationwide have that designation, including Somerville and New Bedford.

“Reducing childhood obesity has been a longstanding public health priority in Cambridge, but First Lady Michelle Obama brought a national sense of urgency to the issue,” Cambridge City Manager Richard Rossi said in a statement. “She inspired us to pursue environmental and policy strategies that extended beyond our public schools and parks.”

The statement notes that 31 percent of children in Cambridge public schools were obese as of 2015, down from 39 percent in 2004. The National League of Cities, a LMCTC partner, adds on its website that Cambridge’s accomplishments include widespread school salad bars, school gardens, Hubway access, abundant farmers’ markets, and curriculums that include physical activities such as ballroom dancing and swim lessons.

Massachusetts has previously been recognized for its commitment to curbing childhood obesity, but there’s still work to be done. A recent report says we rank just 25th in the nation in terms of childhood obesity.