The National League of Cities has ranked Knoxville and Knox County as the top ranked Let's Move! city in the nation.
Knoxville is a participating city for Let's Move Cities, Towns, and Counties, or LMCTC. It's a major piece of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign, which works to fight childhood obesity.
Director of the health department, Martha Buchanan, says this is recognition of the city, the county, and the schools working together to create a healthy environment for children.
"You know it's really hard work, and it's really changing culture, and it really takes a lot for three big entities to coordinate and collaborate their efforts with the interest of our children out there, keeping that foremost," said Buchanan.
To participate, there are five major categories that have specific goals to achieve, and cities and counties can earn a medal in each. The categories 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 nutritional information 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.
Both Knoxville and Knox County received gold medals for each of the goals, except goal 3 for which they earned a bronze.
The second annual Let's Move! event will be held in Victor Ashe Park and Holston Chilhowee Ballpark on Saturday, May 4 from 10 a.m. to 2p.m. The event will feature activities that encourage young people to eat healthy diets and spend time outside.